If you are unfamiliar with digital literature, then the works of Pry, A Novella may either confuse or even intrigue you. What is Pry you may ask? Pry was created by Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman and it is an interactive multimedia story that allows the reader to, in a way, choose the path of how one reads the content. It gives you the option of choosing which chapter to start on and every action you partake in can lead you to a different route.
James is the main character of this story. He returned from the Gulf War six years prior to becoming a demolition consultant where he works with his friend, Luke. Jesse is also another character in Pry who was stationed with the two males during the war. Unfortunately, James suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and is slowly losing his eyesight. In order to understand the novel, the reader must figure out all the little puzzle pieces that James allows us to see through his eyes and subconscious manner that helps us figure out his past.
As stated by one of the creators, “Reading is experienced at the reader’s pace,” Gorman notes, while “video is experienced at the director’s pace.” Pry blends the two; the reader ultimately guides himself through the piece, but the director’s hand is just out of sight, curating the read: video expertly placed at key junctures, timed to play back at just the right moment if you toggle back to the text.
There is a uniqueness in every chapter. One in particular reads like Braille and has you drag your finger on the words in order to hear a voice read the content aloud. Also, each chapter contains four empty diamonds that turns red once completing certain parts contained in each chapter. In order to accomplish earning all the four red diamonds, the reader must spend their time towards navigating through each section that is accessible to them. This gives the essence that Pry is not only a story, but also a game. Having this be a part of the reader’s experience adds onto the interactive aspect. This increases the drive to dig deeper into the story and what you find out may even surprise you.
Digital literature can be difficult to read, especially for those of us who are not use to anything but chronological readings that you can physically hold and flip through the pages of like a regular book. Pry is a type of reading that requires the audience to really think deeply into what they have just read, saw, and even heard. Pry is a very interactive digital literature filled with graphics that make you feel like you are actually there alongside with James going through all of his life changing experiences. One second you may feel sympathy towards him, which can then turn to you feeling scared for his life, to also feeling like you understand him better as a person. Reading and going through Pry allows you to feel like you are in the mind and body of James and that is only part of the beauty of what digital literature has to offer to the world.