IF in the WSJ

This past weekend The Wall Street Journal published an interview with game designer Jane McGonigal. One paragraph mentions how an 80s IF game influenced her career:

In fifth grade she began playing Activision’s Tass Times in Tonetown, an obscure “text adventure” computer game that she solved only after graduating from high school, in collaboration with a couple of friends. This “absolutely pivotal” experience helped guide her insights into how games can linger in the brain, bring different people together—“I was a nerd, they were popular”—and teach things like grit and resilience. “The signature emotion we see in gamers is they believe that if they try again that they will improve,” she says.

This is the only paragraph that mentions IF, but the article is still interesting, as it discusses McGonigal’s approach to game design. Unfortunately, you probably need a subscription to the WSJ to read it. (The WSJ writer might think Tass Times in Tonetown is “obscure,” but I remember it from back in the day, even if I never managed to play it!)

A search of “Wall Street Journal” and “text adventure” produced another article, this one from 2005, which is actually about the 2005 IFComp (!). (Again, you likely need a WSJ subscription to read it - sorry!)


Nice to see Mike Berlyn (and his wife Muffy) getting some recognition.

I’ve never played Tass Times in Tonetown, but it’s on my list.