I have a clear memory of a pair of “thought experiment” games that were posted and discussed on rec.arts.int-fiction a few years back. IIRC it was while I was living in Hawaii, which would mean sometime in the first few months of 2007. The games were called something like “the black game” and “the white game”; the first would not understand anything you typed, and the second would respond to anything you said with a message like “Yes, that’s brilliant! You do exactly that!”
The useless Google Groups search has not turned up anything when looking for these. Can anyone help me track down the discussion or info about the games? (Specifically, I’d like to cite them in a paper, so I need the author and ideally date of the original post.)
That’s a coincidence. I was just thinking about those games a few weeks ago, and tried unsuccessfully (but not very hard) to track them down.
I do remember that they were written in TADS (TADS 2, I believe), and I think they were by a Russian author? I remember they had some rather awkward phrasings and some typos, which I put down to the author not being quite fluent in English.
EDIT: Aha! Gotcha! Suprematism in IF. Turns out I still had the games on my hard drive - I just had to browse the library until I found a name that looked familiar.
These look more like joke-games to me
As a wise man once said, any sufficiently avant-garde artwork is indistinguishable from a joke.
(Oh, he didn’t say that? Never mind.)
There definitely is an element of jokiness in “Suprematism in IF”. At the same time, it does have a point, and it generated an interesting discussion on r.g.i-f when it was released. Suprematism was a visual art form that focused on basic geometric shapes; so does “Suprematism in IF” imply that a “basic geometric shape” of IF is not interactivity, but the illusion of interactivity? After all, most IF doesn’t give the player much opportunity to shape the plot. Being able to wander freely around the map, examine objects, pick them up, drop them again, and so on gives a sense of agency, but generally the plot won’t advance until the player performs a few specific actions decided by the author.
In any case, I like that Andrey Grankin didn’t write an essay about his IF theories - he embodied them in a pair of games instead!
Oh, fantastic! Thanks so much, this is exactly what I was thinking of.
Prepare to be cited, Andrey Grankin!