I have just returned from an unexpectedly IF-infused weekend break in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
A couple of friends and I made our annual pilgrimage to SFW - Science Fiction Weekender, this year held at the O2 Arena in Sheffield. On Saturday I finally got to see the live show of John Robertson’s The Dark Room. Anyone who has played The Dark Room on YouTube will know it is a very silly, and very unfair choice-based text game, where insta-death is kinda the point. I found the live version hysterical; Robertson is a fantastic performer and improviser. The highlight of this particular performance was a 9 year-old boy called Ethan, who, to Robertson’s exasperation, made exactly the same choices five times in a row. The auditorium was full to capacity, and it was quite something to see a room of more than 2000 people kept on the edge of their seats by a piece of IF.
On Sunday we visited The National Videogame Museum, which to my delight had a stand devoted to IF, running Andrew Plotkin’s The Dreamhold and Inkle’s 80 Days, among others. There was also a workshop room with a machine running Twine 2, and I could not resist writing a small piece to get people started. I also embarrassed myself on one of those Dancing Stage machines. If you’re in the area it’s well worth a visit, as is the Emergency Services Museum across the road.