Aarseth: Not Such A Bad Thing

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Well, in this chapter of Cybertext, I felt a lot of repeating of information that I already knew.  I never thought I would say that in this Espen Aarseth book, but this chapter was telling me information about adventure games that I know already from experience. It was helpful to get the refresher from the Jerz & Jerz video clip on adventure games and then read the chapter after, because I remembered all of those silly difficulties I faced when I played those games the last time.

Aarseth describes it right: "Personal relations and habits in an adventure game like Deadline might best be described as autistic" (115).  

I think the word Autistic is very powerful and even thought it might be confusing, people generally know what that means.  I too would relate adventure games as being autistic.  There is no rhyme or reason for some connections.  Interactions that seem simple are not, according to the computer at least.  And complicated interactions sometimes seem east, although it takes you a while to stumble upon what the right code's are.  Basically, these games can be unpredictable, but that's what makes them intriguing.  What fun would a game be if it was always unpredictable and you always knew the right commands to say?  Not very.  Though it would probably be more frustrating.

I found something I agree with, "Images, especially moving images, are more powerful representations of spatial relations than texts, and therefore this migration from text to graphics is natural and inevitable" (102). 

Being that I grew up knowing only of games with video or picture stills, I can relate to why text games would be going out of style.  However, like Tiffany said in her blog, if I would have been alive during the time of the first text games then I would have been so excited and intrigued by the entire thing.  And of course, once something is familiar, it would be hard to have a change of heart for its developments.  It's kind of like the way I don't think that everything under the sun should be changed into touch screens and 3D.  I like 2D and I like pushing buttons.  However, future generations won't know how we used to watch movies not in 3D and they will wonder why we would ever use something that isn't a touch screen.  I guess this is all just part of the technology life.


Good point, Megan. One reason I introduce IF is because it is an unfamiliar medium, and by studying our own reactions to unfamiliar media, we develop skills that will help us respond critically to the media we already know well.

When I want to unwind, I am more likely to play a computer game with visuals, but the modern games take teams of professionals, months or years, and millions of dollars. We can make text game with beginning-level programming skills, free tools, and a bit of hair-pulling.

I'm glad to hear that many of you found comfort in knowing that part of this is a review. Thanks for the feedback.

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