November 06, 2006

My Homework is...Fun! (Gasp!)

The phrase I use as my title is probably not one a professor wants to see publicized on a student blog...for various reasons. I must argue though, that Interactive Fiction, much like everything else this year, is teaching me something. We all know that I have been relating various assignments (okay, everything) to Communications and Interactive Fiction is included. I. Am. Learning. I am just really enjoying the atmosphere in which I am doing so. For homework, we had to play four IF games and respond about them on our blogs...

I played:

  • Ad Verbum. I probably should have played this one last...because I played it for the longest. And I want to keep playing it. I really liked this game. The puzzles intrigued me. They were so riddle-like. So very obvious that it took a long time to generate coherent thought about. It took a little while for me to catch on when Cherie and I played it, but by the end of our (somehwat short) playing session together, I wanted to know more. I decided I had to play it for this exercise. Then, I would have a reason to be playing it and it would be part of an interesting IF discussion.

    When I sat down to play it, I couldn't wait to zip through the discussion and the beginning and get to that damn nifty nappy! However, my intentions were not carried out. I couldn't remember the exact path Cherie and I had taken. I went to the north, where there was a door, expecting to be able to get out. Well, good thing Cherie had discovered this part during her first trial of the game, because when the game told me, "The difficult difficult difficult door seems to be stuck closed" I knew exactly what to do. I typed in, "Open difficult difficult difficult door." and poof. The game said: "Your difficult labor pays off. You open the difficult difficult difficult door." And I also earned two points! (Cha-Ching!). PS: I solved the "West" puzzle on my own with "win wooden weapon" and earned 5 points!

    Interesting things to note:

    • Another fun aspect was I got to play a game with a little boy named Georgie where we had to list dinosaur names back and forth. The fun part, I got to make them up. As long as it had "saurus" as a suffix, Georgie was happy. He was puzzled mind you, but happy. Some such names: Puppysaurus, pinkosaurus, Georgiesaurus, and for all the bloggers out there, blogosaurus; it was fun to come up with stuff off the top of my head.
    • The entire time you are naming dinosaurs with Georgie, his little electronic puppy dog is yapping and throwing out Yo' Mama jokes. The one I found the most interesting:" I hear everybody's got random access to your mama." And the one I found most amusing: (Again, to the bloggers) "Your mama's so stupid , she tried to give hypertext Ritalin."

  • Acid Whiplash. This game was....weird. I didn't hesitate to think that it was made while under the influence of a certain hallucinogenic, but then again, maybe these two just have a really twisted mind and very odd sense of humor....and video gaming quality. Either way, I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be doing....The titles of the rooms and the descriptions were rather weird. And they didn't seem to make sense, neither on their own or as a whole.

    Some examples:

    Room Titles

    • Womb with a view

    • Serpant's Tooth (yes, you are literally inside the tooth. He describes the enamel and the embedded sand, which is how we know we are crawling into a sand serpant's mouth

    • Puzzle One. Why is this one weird? Because all the description tells you is that you are in a "tiny little room the shape of a burning credit card" And when you push a button a door opens up where the expiration date is on a credit card. What is so puzzling about that?

    I ddin't get much further past this point. After the tooth beaver I couldn't figure out how to do anything. I walked away. I came back. Same results. Nothing made enough sense to even attempt to connect it into some kind of logical puzzle answer. I don't even think I was aware of the nature of the puzzle!

  • Congratulations. This is a simultation of having a baby and the description said that pretty much all you had to do was handle the responsibilities of a child. However, the description also said you have the option to blend your baby. Which, as much as I think this is gross, still wanted to see if I could actually do. So I picked it. I started playing it and picked up a bottle. I tried to feed the baby and it said I had to drop either the baby or the bottle. I tried to drop the baby. (:/). It said, "You think....and put the baby down softly. The baby crawls away!" I was like, damn, softly, then I got mad because the baby crawled away. Realistically, a baby cannot crawl as a newborn. They can't even hold their heads up. So I lost the baby. I still had about ten more minutes of required I started over. I figured out how to blend the baby. Rather quickly actually. I had to. I just wanted to see if I could. And I could feel the tension mounting with each phrase, wondering if I was actually going to be permitted to do such a thing. I lost the game. And got reprimanded for killing my child. Then I moved on. I figured out what I wanted, the rest of the game couldn't have been more interesting than that.....(sorry....this is just really amusing to me.....sick and twisted, I know, I know...) But maybe the game maker is the sick and twisted one....who made the option available?
  • Photopia. The last time I played it, although I didn't understand the beginning or the various story lines, I still managed to get three or four colors into it and was really enjoying myself. Then, I hit a wire and the screen went blank. So I decided to try and play again for this exercise. No avail. I didn't get past the first color. I couldn't remember the various directions I had manuevered myself to obtain the seed pod the first time. After 15 frustrating minutes....I stopped this one. I suppose I'll have another go at some point....because I really do want to see what happens....but for now...I'm taking a break.

Posted by Lori Rupert at November 6, 2006 01:36 AM
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