Electronic Literature @ Wheaton

Class Thread on IF (Week 9)


From Geoffrey:

Douglass, in the EBR article on Shade mentions that “like game books and RPGs, IF was arguably predated by simulation methods that emphasized fact over fantasy and system over story.” On a similar note, Jerz in Digital Humanities Quarterly quotes the idea that “words were seductive because they revealed a hidden order behind everything.” In his introduction to IF, Jerz also claims that “the game will expect the player to type commands that follow patterns.” All this suggests that Interactive Fiction is inherently rigid and heavily structured.

As we approach IF as both audience and critics, how would you analyze the structures and patterns in IF you’ve read (feel free to bring in IF not assigned for class, if relevant… just offer enough explanation to make your point)? To that end, what are some of the basic patterns of interaction with the fiction? How do those patterns or structures shape the experience? How do they relate to the fiction itself and whatever themes the fiction might be raising?