So what, then, is this allegedly mythical interactivity? I basically take his point that new media doesn't do anything more interactive than, say, a painting, but isn't there a conflation of the term interactive here? Maybe that's the point and I'm missing it.
It just seems that when we say that a painting is interactive, we really mean I react to its stimulus (i.e., it makes an impression on me and I respond to it intellectually, aesthetically, emotionally) and when you say that a hypertext is interactive, it's responding to my stimulus (clicks).
If Manovich's argument is that hypertext is not really interactive because it's prescripted instead of conversational (i.e., actually generating responses to your unique input) isn't the only difference interactive-wise between a painting and a MOO space that the MOO space is segmented?
A painting has its own rules (line, color, form, subject), and a MOO has its own rules (parent classes, permissions, syntax) both of which dictate the creation of and response to the object itself.
But maybe that's his point any way. Am I way off here?