Monday, April 23, 2007

Strange behaviour from the web

Twice in the same day, the simple act of clicking on text in a web page threw me for a loop.

The first instance occurred while I was doing preliminary research on the upcoming game World Without Oil. I learned about it from Cardhouse and was excited about being able to join an ARG on its startup. I have never played an 'alternative reality game' before and so I did what most newcomers to a discipline do: I checked it out in Wikipedia. Except the entire ARG entry had turned into one giant link to some gaming site. I couldn't 'undo' this change because this invisible link covered the entire entry page. I guess this was an apt entry point into an alternative world.

The second instance occurred when I was testing out our library's beta LibX Firefox toolbar. It has some great features and I'm particular excited about its ability to send search terms directly into Scholars Portal Search in the New York Times website. When I attempted to highlight the word murmeration by double-clicking on it a new window popped up with a definition provided by And I thought, when did simple text become aware of the double-click? How did they do that?

Small shifts in reality can still make you feel a little uneasy.

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