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January 8, 2008

Jerz and Adams...which one will be playing the role of Ralph Kramden

I have to ask - you couldn't really control your giddiness in having Adams there, could you, Dr. Jerz?

I remember having some discussion with Dr. Jerz about early gaming, specifically, Colossal Cave Adventure, and how to really engage oneself in art.

The discussion, to some extent, was about reader response and authorial intent. Dr. Jerz was kind enough to explain to our class how he became engaged in the Colossal Cave and did, in fact, go on a colossal cave adventure of his own to better understand the concepts of cave adventure. His response to the text (read: game) was so strong and driving, that it led to further exploration in real life, not just theory.

I do not remember where, but when Dr. Jerz mentions about the size limitations of early games (15-16k), the game would suggest the player was "on a beach" which opens up vistas and imagination of the player never before seen. As I have said before, I am a man without a country. I have come to love games full of lush, gorgeous visuals, while I also wholly agree with the sentiment that "you are on a beach" is even more vibrant, as long as the player has an open mind. Instead of being shown what was intended (the art, the artist, the intention), in a game like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I think, though, that both have value, while being different.

I enjoy Adam's discussion of role-playing as the computer. I think his version of being the computer with the student interaction gives a perfect rendition of early text-based games. For anyone who is unfamiliar with IF games, this would be, easily, the best explanation.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at January 8, 2008 2:41 PM


Yes, having Adams act out Adventureland was a treat. He knows the code well enough that he can carry it with him in his head. It was like having a Homeric bard come from classical Greece to perform the Iliad for us.

It might be amusing to watch Peter Molyneux act out "Black and White" or "The Movies," but the medium of a graphic-rich game just doesn't lend itself to that kind of personal performance.

I do love a good role-playing adventure, so I realize that text games aren't all there is to study, but I did see an opportunity, and I'm really glad I could get it done.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 8, 2008 10:25 PM

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