500 Signs You Play Too much IF

  1. You’re convinced you would be more successful in life had the author included hints.
  1. There are no important people in your life, because they’re just too much work.

  2. You write your diary one paragraph at a time, each on a separate sheet of paper; these you then hide in inexplicable places around your home and the surrounding area.

  3. You feel that there should be a more strongly-motivating narrative reward for household chores.

I think there actually were a few text adventures (Amnesia, Twilight’s Ransom) which did apply more realistic rigor to their urban settings, generally as a kind of copy protection: here, you have the whole Lower East Side of New York to roam around in… PS, the manual lists the only two addresses where anything of interest is going on.

(I can remember what seemed like 45-minute hikes recovering on foot from spectacular rural stunts gone awry in GTA: San Andreas, which remains far from a 10-hour hike but still unbelievable zen endurance for a modern video game.)

  1. You feel foolish when you wave.
  1. You have a hard time resisting going through other people’s mailboxes. Medicine cabinets don’t have a chance!

  2. Nothing good has ever yet resulted from greeting people with “HELLO, SAILOR”, but you hold out hope that someday you’ll find the right place to say it.

  1. You type ‘l’ at the UNIX command prompt (and ‘ls’ at the IF prompt). I do this for real, all the time.
  1. You were once brought in by the police after being found, nude, having discarded all of your possessions in an attempt to navigate an unfamiliar but samey-looking part of town.
  1. Your phone book is truly stupendous in size, figuring that you wouldn’t have been exposed to any phone numbers which wouldn’t prove to be critical later on down the line.
  1. Every time you do something, you imagine how a playful, mischievous robot might react to your action.
  1. You are constantly updating the map you carry around to ensure you can find your way back and don’t miss any possible exits to explore.
  1. When a date is going well, you begin taking a mental inventory of precisely how many garments your companion is wearing, and how they are layered.
  1. You eschew multi-purpose devices such as smartphones or Leathermen as they remove too much of the challenge from the undertaking of everyday activities.
  1. You rarely bother with a coil of rope if you should see one, since you know it would be too much to expect for it to behave like real rope.
  1. Sometimes you leave the house with the sinks, shower and oven all turned on, just because you wanted to see if they’d been hooked up, and forgot to turn them off again. Similarly, your electric bill is through the roof, since who would ever turn a light off if it didn’t have a limited power source?

Wow, in three hours there are four pages? Three more days and it’s a hundred!

  1. When you see a locked door you start searching your grandma’s prized plants for a key.

  2. You are angry at the author of life because they:

-Didn’t give undo support
-Have unbalanced puzzles
-Don’t reveal their name
-Created fake versions of themselves in the game
-Duplicated almost every object, but most of them aren’t in your current position of time and space
-Used timers instead of turn scripts

  1. You wonder why Life hasn’t won the XYZZY award for Best NPCs.

  2. You are shocked at learning that all NPCs are actually PCs to themselves, and that you are actually a NPC.

  1. You think it’s totally unfair that jumping off chasms or running around caves without a light source can lead to your irrevocable death.

  2. You think having to eat and drink in order to stay alive is just a really lame, old school resource management puzzle and who designed this planet, anyway?

  3. Why wasn’t the way to avoid getting dumped by the girlfriend clued a little better? Did somebody set this relationship to cruel mode?

XYZZY Awards 3,500,000,000 BP didn’t have a Best NPCs category; that was instituted around the time of the new-school eukaryote thing, by which time obviously Life was ineligible.

Life did pick up a Best Use of Medium award, though, which was the last time that anybody agreed on what that category meant.

  1. You’ve fallen out of the habit of performing your verbs adverbly.
  1. You’re surprised to be given a hint the first time you ask for it.
  1. You have occasionally attempted to put large objects into smaller objects, even though you knew it should be impossible, just in case somebody out there forgot to make it so in this instance.