If You Could Have Chosen IF for Your Schooling

Hi, All,

I hope this note finds you well.

If you could have a had some works of IF in your own school work (probably when you were a bit younger), which stories might you have chosen?

When I was eight years old or so, I would have picked “Snack Time” or the earlier sections of “Six,” just because they’re fun for relatively early readers,

When I was eleven or twelve, I think I would have gone for “Arthur: the Quest for Excalibur” and “The Origin of Madame Time.” After all, we probably would have had to study the Arthurian legends anyway, and my friends and I would all have been suckers for superheroes.

For high school classes, I would have picked “Spider and Web” for its cold-war-like intrigue and its wondrous set of problems, and “80 Days,” (for geography, of course).

As an undergraduate, I think I would have liked “Photopia” and “All Hope Abandon” because they’re both complicated in some ways and enjoyable to read.

What do you think? What might you have chosen? Why?

Maybe we could add our responses to the relevant IF Database polls.

Have a great day, everyone, and be well!

Brendan Desilets


We actually played Colossal Cave in my 7th grade Science class on Apple][e computers on floppy! I remember also playing Lemonade, and I’m sure Oregon Trail was there too.

Another suggestion might be 80 Days for a literature or geography class, and Suveh Nux or The Gostak for advanced-level language classes (both use inferred imaginary languages as game mechanics).

As recently as last year I’ve had training modules for work that were very close to visual novels in their design. It was a game where we had to find security violations in the workplace and interview NPCs to decide what went wrong in customer interactions.


Thinking back to my English A Level in the 1995 era (I’m in the UK) then Photopia would have been absolutely eaten up, we would have loved it! The themes, the story, the interactive elements. Wow. That would have been great.

Now, Photopia was literally created just a few years after the period I’m referring to but here’s the thing: it’s hard to describe now without sounding ridiculous but in our small town in the UK in 1995 we weren’t aware of the internet! We were still playing games consoles, and STs and Amigas. I hit the internet around 1997 by which point I’d left school. Anyways, I digress… :slightly_smiling_face:


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What a great question!

I read my first CYOA book when I was about 10, and I played Twin Kingdom Valley for the first time a year later. I loved both works and presumably would have liked to consume more interactive fiction of the era, if only there had been someone who could direct me to it.

It was around that time that I started reading sci-fi. If a teacher had told me to read The Elysium Enigma, I would have thought they were cool.

When I was in high school, I loved reading about all things language, including wordplay, so I would have been heels over head if I had been assigned Counterfeit Monkey.

If Shade had been part of the curriculum when I was in high school, I would have loved it because of how dark it is. If it had been assigned to me while I was at university, I would have loved it because of elements some might characterize as postmodern . . . and because of how dark it is.

I hope you are well!


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Trinity would be really interesting as part of a unit on the atomic bomb in a college-level “Science and Society”-type course. The last third or so of Trinity is even a detailed recreation of the nuclear test site near Socorro, New Mexico.

Hi, Hanon,

It’s good to hear from you. 80 Days is a game I would have loved, as I mentioned in my post. It’s great to hear that you’ve actually run into an example of IF in your workplace.


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