Story or Game? Hmm...

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I had a great time exporing Interactive Fiction. From what we discussed in class, about Scott Adams and his creative games, I gathered that Interactive Fiction was the first form of "gaming" that came about. However, as I investigated each of the games, I found that they were much more than simply that, there were, in fact, fiction.

I dove into the five assigned games without having any clue of what to expect. I do have some experience with video games, but I am far from being an expert. I've played all of the popular Playstation games and of course am addicted to everyone's favority Nintendo system, the 64. The only experience I've had with computer games was Deer Hunter in elementary school during recess. So, I guess you could say I'm rather inexperience in the gaming world, but after investigating these five IF games I found that they were much more than just "a game" to pass the time, I foud that they were educational and were indeed fiction.

For example, in Lost Pig, the player must use clues and explore in order to find the "lost pig." (This may sound easy, but let me tell you, it's more difficult that you'd expect.) Yes, it's a fun game that the player must, "figure out," but when you really look at it, it's a story. It's a story about how Grunk lost the pig and must recapture him.

What I struggled with in these games may be the entire reason for it. I was forced to use something called "words." Anyone ever hear of this term? Yes, words are groups of letters that are thrown together to share a concept with another human being, or in this case, a computer. It is difficult to communicate with a computer if you haven't tried. For example in my least favorite, Galatea, I struggled much with trying to figure out where to go or what to do next. The game makes the player put words in a certain order that would make it easiest for a computer to understand. This was often unbearably hard. What made it more difficult is that Galatea, a statue, has a mood and a temperament that made it hard to engage with her.

Though, there the games were challenging I must say that I really enjoyed experiencing them. Afterall, what I liked about them most was that they were fiction. In Tales of the Traveling Swordsman, Ecydisis, and Photopia, just like the others, there is a story line that the player has a direct control of based on which key words he or she uses. My favorite was Tales of the Traveling Swordsman because it was basically set up like a mystery. Not "mystery" in the sense that you and I think of a mystery novel, but the player/reader had to discover what was coming up next. I loved that aspect of the game.

Overall, I was really interested and actually got pretty involved in a few of the games. It was kind of hard to stop playing

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I found the lost pig game to be so easy, it was hard (if that makes any sense). The simplicity led me to believe the game would be a cinch-but that, I believe, is the gimmick.

Galatea gave me difficulty. I've never had to think so much when playing a game before, my previous experience being Gameboy, Sega Genesis, and N64-and it's been a long while since I played any of these. In EL 405, we played a game called "Floatpoint" that had a guide and hints. Stupid me, I figured a lot of other games would have the same functions...nope. Galatea was the most challenging for me because it was just help, no clue. There was also, I felt, a lack of actual plot.

Swordsman kept leading me in circles, which lead to clues. I had a hard time stopping play with this one.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on October 14, 2008 7:29 PM.

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