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November 05, 2006

Ex 7: Interactive Fiction Response

I noticed that I seem to follow the same procedure for every Interactive Fiction game that I play. I begin by attempting to kill everything, eat everything, and set everything on fire. Once that’s out of my system, I actually try to play it properly.

When it comes to Emily Short's Galatea, Erin Waite said it best: “Galatea was more about having a conversation than actually getting anywhere.” Galatea was a never-ending question and answer session. I ended up keeping a list and it still didn't get me anywhere. And Adam Cadre's Photopia was just… long.

I played Ninja by Paul Allen Panks and couldn’t get the program to understand most of my commands. I also played Blink, an antiwar game. It had a narrative similar to Photopia. There was also, Conan Kill Everything by Ian Haberkorn. The title is self-explanatory. My favorite was Harlequin Girl by Sean M. Elliott, a horror-genre game where you had to rely on your senses.

The games have a lot in common: they all follow the same conventions, there’s a lot of exploring and examining, but most of all, none of them can make me care about the characters. Though I have felt like killing the main character, I’ve never actually felt like the main character.

Posted by Kayla Sawyer at November 5, 2006 05:18 PM


For the record, there are plenty of IF games that focus more on puzzle-solving and exploration, where character is secondary (or practically non-existent).

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 5, 2006 09:37 PM

I haven't seen many games where you are the character either. I agree these games are based on puzzle-solving and exploration. The character hardly plays a role. Is it because you're mind is too busy focusing on the text problem you're not imagining the scene in your head? Therefore, characters are fairly non-existant?

Posted by: Tiffany Gilbert at November 6, 2006 06:53 PM

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