IF Essays?

Hi all,

I recently reread The IF Theory Reader cover-to-cover and I found it as interesting as the first time. Does anyone have any recommendations for other IF theoretical essays or even academical papers?

I’m thinking of in-depth analysis of one game, discussion of the literary qualities of IF in general or of a specific work, arguments on puzzle design, works on the player-PC relation,…

I’ve read and enjoyed Engaging the Paradoxical by Michael Spivey, Face it, tiger, you just hit the jackpot by Nick Montfort, Eric Eve’s essay on All Hope Abandon and some other shorter works.

So, any (preferably downloadable) ideas?



For discussions of specific works, you might enjoy the SPAG Specifics series, which are linked from the IF Wiki: http://ifwiki.org/index.php/SPAG

The articles on Stephen Granade’s Brass Lantern page are also of interest: http://brasslantern.org/writers/iftheory/

As for the academic realm, you could dive into the dissertations of @jeremydouglass, Van Leavenworth and Nick Montfort:

Dennis Jerz once made an annotated bibliography: https://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/bibliography/index.html
(it seems that it hasn’t been updated, but it might still be worth a look)


ifwiki has pages dedicated to articles about IF theory and articles about IF Craft.

You can also look up individual people on ifwiki who’ve written essays and articles, and their wiki page may link to other articles they have written, or to their blogs. For example:

(Also, if anyone comes across craft, theory, etc. articles that are not already linked at ifwiki, you can add them there!)


Thanks a lot to both of you. This is a goldmine.

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