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The noun Interactivity is a derivative of the word "interact." To "interact," by definition, is to participate in a give and take relationship with another human being or piece of technology. Technology in our culture has begun to shift the term more towards meaning a person's activity level in relation to the system they are using. Television, for example, requires a low level of interactivity by the user. Video games, specifically MMOs, are extremely popular largely because they require high levels of interactivity with the technology. This level of interactivity relates to the phenomenon of immersion in a virtual world (see Second Life). The Nintendo Wii has gained popularity very recently because it accentuates the players input into the system through physical movements. The interactivity of users within the Web 2.0 has popularized websites like Wikipedia and YouTube.

Interactivity as it relates to videogames, describes an environment that is both participatory and procedural. Ian Bogost notes that these rhetorics do not need a sophisticated interactivity, but they do benefit from them. Procedural rhetorics also relate to interactivity. Bogost states that the idea that GTAIII is a fully interactive game is flawed, but in fact, the game is only interactive in that it requires us to fill in the gaps between the missing information from what we do and what we see.


Bogost p40-44.