PERFORMATIVE WORLD

In OO worlds, all language is what Derrida termed performative: its utterance "produces or transforms a situation, it effects" (Derrida, 9). Whatever a player says happens, does happen. In verbal exchanges, on the other hand, performatives are rare, most frequently found in ritual or ceremony, such as pronouncement of marriage or christening of a ship. In text, performatives are standard practice. Consider a novel, for instance. Nothing happens except what the author tells the reader is happening -- all of which is accepted (in the world of the novel) as occurrence. OOP takes the performative power of text one step further, allowing the player/reader (not simply the author) to "utter" performative statements.

"The computer is a self-contained world in which the whole process of semiosis can take place. Say that the writer creates the following structure in the electronic writing space of the machine. Not only the words in each topic, but the topics themselves and the link that connects them are part of the process of signification" (Bolter, 197).

This continual authority of language elevates it to a more confident footing. Once again, it is clearly the reader who is in control of hypertext. It represents another blurring of the boundary between oral exchange and written exchange in MUD environments.