E.T.'s Spring Thing 2022

I feel a bit weird taking up a whole topic with my fragmentary thinks…
This is what these are going to be: as much as I can manage it – I see/read things and react to them, and they make me think of other things – and I put some of that (the part that doesn’t leak into the brain-ether) into words. I’m not versed in IF nearly as much as I’ve wanted to be through the years, thanks ADD. Anyway. Thinks about things will follow in posts below.


Computerfriend By Kit Riemer

Trivia: I played halfway through three times, accidentally hitting the back button or closing the window before reaching an ending. I came back and restarted each time, this is an unlikely thing for distractible me, and already says much about how I feel about Computerfriend.

The opening: wonderfully oppressive shade of red. The contrast with calming blue bits in moments when you manage to focus on the senses. The grainy shapes that signify to my abstract pattern-loving brain.

The whole calming routine as vehicle for setting up the scene. The. Writing.

…one of Godfield’s ex-trees, ex-lining the town’s main throughway in triumphant shade and greenery until insects and heatwaves turned them into jagged petrified and sunbleached shards.

… The Constant Humming of Air Conditioners Crouched Like Thieves On Open Windowsills

The “blue” sensations written out in small letters, then “red” ones written out headline-style, each word capitalized, recontextualizing the blue:

I have been despairing for a good few minutes trying to screencapture the visual stuff, because the game would continue on any key press, unless I time my keypresses well.
I have been transcribing the quotes from my tablet, because the story progresses on a mouseclick as well, as I try and select the text, but also because I’ve taught myself to do transcribe (or even longhand write out) writing that I want to learn from. This is writing I want to learn from. This may well be longhand-transcription material for me.
Whom it makes me remember: Ballard through Vandermeer; Gibson through Foster Wallace. I’m aware these are heavy comparisons, sorry, Ms. Riemer.

When you boot up Computerfriend:

The name you write for yourself to Computerfriend sounds in a distinctly different voice when it’s quoted – a machine using it as a variable name, which then transfers onto the other things in quotes: your traumas, ruinous states of mind as you take in the world. Also this:

Variant typography made different things happen in my mind from those that would’ve happened had it been missing. Onwards:

My sense of humor is six. I tend to remember this from time to time and chuckle.

This most assuredly did not make me chuckle. And now I know that much more about the setting.

For each choice you make on how and whom you live with, there are different vignettes! Different!

When Computerfriend asks me how I’m feeling, its answer is pitched to fit best to someone feeling flavors of shitty. I hear you.
End of session, had to write a microfiction. Started, stopped, scrambled to the game’s Twine file to see how it did it. Came back laughing. See, I’d started writing (real, actual, typing) something that was little more than a paraphrase of what text came up in the text field. I have these whole stillborn litters of these sorts of notepad files.
Hadn’t played either of Game Town’s games. Both got me good, especially the second one. Their good-natured tonality and “e-mail this trick to a friend” brought me back to the innocence of my Internet experience of the 90s.

You feel out of time, not like you have none left but as though you’d opened time’s door and exited.


Watched the movie, but appreciated the mention in the HyperPages’ second iteration, as well as Computerfriend’s tasks for the day, pointing you towards exploring all the available options on your computer (and outside). Second HyperPages made me think of DFW again, the notes on Incandenza Sr.'s movie directing career in particular.
The biomechanics of unruly testicles, political news, shrooms, the impermanence of all things. Quality content.

I watch TV with Dad. We have a short health-related conversation doing a lot of oblique storytelling.
Then this:

As a part of an official news bulletin. Biology seems to have taken a turn.

My dad has grown up in the seventies. The dates on the HyperPages state 1999, and the news are from a sort of future. I’m frissoning nicely.

Here I am writing thoughts and I’ve actually played through the game once more as I did that. Two endings reached, out of six. Some writing from the current final third:

This leads to ending 3/6
I liked ending 4/6 more:

I took a plane to a different country, mixed all my meds in one, arrived, uncertain where I am, but it had nothing to do with the world until then. I found a meadow, and it was beautiful. I held the slurry of meds in my palm. A deer came out of the forest, lapped up the meds, returned to the forest. I slept.

And, oh – I had injected … something into me during my last session with Computerfriend, at its suggestion.

I know about the XYZZY awards. The XYZZY awards should know about Computerfriend.

So, yeah. That’s it for now.


This was a very enjoyable read. Thank you, Емануил, for taking such care with my game! It’s a pleasure seeing it digested like this.


Honestly, I don’t think I have, yet. I’m getting all six endings, believe you me :)) I’m tempted to get into much more detail on small, sometimes seemingly irrelevant things, but I don’t think I have the mental energy to go through with it. Sorry. Still, these things have been noticed, if not written out. (I’m better at it in speech, when I teach SF at uni for instance; I simply delegate the work to my mouth. Writing still scares me much more.)

Oh, and I should find a way to change my silly Cyrillic name to something that allows for a more informal kind of address. It’s just Emo (Eh-mo).
Anyway. Thank you for that game.


I’m just the opposite: fine at writing but totally incomprehensible in person! Getting all the endings could be tricky, feel free to check the code and see how (or ask me). :slight_smile: Thank you again, Emo!