Hi everyone. I’m an admin on IFWiki (although I haven’t been very active this year due to personal issues, sorry about that), and I’d like to make a rather sweeping change to several categories and pages on IFWiki that currently refer to “games” and change it to “works”.
That would mean Category:Games becomes Category:Works, Category:ADRIFT 5 games becomes Category:ADRIFT 5 works, Category:Italian games becomes Category:Italian works, etc. etc. etc. I would also change the text of those categories so references to “games” would instead be to “games, stories, and art pieces” or “works of interactive fiction” as appropriate. I will create redirects so someone searching for “Inform 7 games” will find Category:Inform 7 works.
Likewise, some pages like “Recommended games” would change to “Recommended works”.
However, I do not wish to change references to phrases like “game mechanics” or “game characters” since such terms are still in general usage. Nor will I change the names of specific historical items that referred to IF as games.
One reason I want to make the change is because it feels more honest to acknowledge that not all works of IF are games in the normal sense of the word. Previously, I felt okay with using “games” in a more generic sense, the way “monsters” is sometimes used to refer to all NPCs in D&D, or the way we use “rooms” to mean any location. I felt fine with listing Photopia or Rameses as games (even though they’re really stories) or IF Art Show entries as games (even though they’re really art pieces) because I saw them as outliers; to me, IF seemed mostly about games.
The last few years of IF competitions have increasingly strained my long-treasured assumptions of what IF is. Part of me is rebelling, screaming internally that “these things aren’t games!” And I think part of why I keep thinking of IF as games is because that’s the word we keep using to describe them. So I think it’s time for me to bite the bullet, and make at least some of my internal complaining moot by making this change. If I start listing works of interactive fiction as “works” instead of “games”, I’ll no longer have any reason to mentally whine that something isn’t a darn game, at least when adding info to the wiki.
The Inform 7 website and its materials have already made an effort to be more inclusive on this issue. I think it’s time for IFWiki (and my own website, Key & Compass) to follow suit.