I was wondering whether it might be a good idea to have a tag for works of ergodic literature. Wikipedia uses the following definition:

In ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text. If ergodic literature is to make sense as a concept, there must also be nonergodic literature, where the effort to traverse the text is trivial, with no extranoematic responsibilities placed on the reader except (for example) eye movement and the periodic or arbitrary turning of pages.

In other words, these are usually works where the full work is more than just the contents of a linear piece of text. They might be nonlinear or the typesetting might be part of the story being told, etc. Popular works include The Unfortunates (B. S. Johnson), House of Leaves (Mark Z. Danielewski) and S. (Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams). As this is a very specific kind of literature, I'm sure there might a) people interested specifically in these works (I know I am) and b) people with specific expertise in analysing them.

I know that there seems to be a consensus against introducing genre-specific tags, but I'm not sure ergodic literature is really a "genre". It seems to be a classification that is orthogonal to genres. There is no reason why there couldn't be ergodic crime stories, fantasy novels or historical fiction. Furthermore, the distinction whether any given work is ergodic or not is a lot less subjective than genre boundaries (which is the main reason for disallowing genre-based tags).

So far, I'm aware of four questions where the tag might be applicable:

It would likely also apply to questions about choose-your-own-adventure-style books.

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    I can't see downvotes yet but I think there's at least two on the question and the answer. It would be more constructive for the discussion if someone who disagrees could post an answer making a case against creating the tag. Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 7:36

1 Answer 1



As far as I can tell, this looks like a very specific section of works, which would easily have someone who can be an expert in such stories. It also meets most of the standards for good tags - is it clear? Yes, for people who know the term. Does it help searching? Oh yes. Does it add anything useful? It helps classify it.

Sounds like a good tag.

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