Interactive Fiction and other videogames

Hello everybody. After a discussion with some friends (about if the usual interactive fiction player also plays other conventional video games commonly), I thought it would be interesting to make the following quick poll among yourselves. So, do you play other conventional video games in addition to interactive fiction?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

I used to play a lot of video games, but I eventually decided it was an addiction and it was cutting into the rest of my life.

Now I only play turn-based games, which I find easier to stop and start. In addition to IF, I play Lexulous on Facebook and occasionally Othello at

Two aspects of video games seemed to be especially damaging to my psyche: One was the fast pace of realtime games, which would get me wound up and was very hard to come down from. The other was the graphical display of information. I think I have a somewhat Aspergery way of processing visual information - it’s hard for me to ignore details and it’s hard to focus on the relevant parts of an image. I’ve always been bad at finding stuff, for example. I like linear things because I get distracted easily.

Now what else was I going to say? I got distracted…

Oh yeah. I used to be the maintainer for, a sadly languishing project. Archon was one of my favorite games ever. I’ve never quite understood why all the newer efforts to revive it have failed, but sometimes I think it’s mainly the lack of double joysticks on PCs.

The other day I was thinking about the possibility of rebuilding XArchon for game consoles and maybe for mobile devices. Some discussion on the now dead Archon:Evolution website talked about how network lags had a much more serious effect on 2D battle play than they did in physics-based 3D shooters, and it would probably never be possible to play it over a WAN.

Looking at the site now, it looks like game consoles and mobile devices ARE working out for Archon…

…and the 2D battleground appears to have been replaced by a physics-based 3D environment.

About all I do is play video games. I get through two to three full-sized games a month – anything from new releases to older classics. At present, I’m playing Alan Wake, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Star Ocean: Second Evolution.

I enjoy a wide variety of other genres of video game. I’m working my way through Starcraft 2 when I need downtime from coding IF, and have really enjoyed FPS titles (Left 4 Dead 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum) and RPG-style games (Dragon Age, Mass Effect) as well. And Rock Band! I try to stay away from MMO games, although I have a lot of friends playing WoW. Now that’s an addiction!

I mostly play adventure games (am currently enjoying the current season of Sam and Max) but have occasionally tried games in other genres. (They tend to be too difficult for me though.)

I think I don’t see it as a natural divide between interactive fiction and other video games, honestly. Sure the presentation is different, but to me the difference between (say) Master of Orion 2 and Mount & Blade would be far more significant.

I play mainstream games on the PC, Wii and DS. I also sometimes play Flash games, and I try to keep up-to-date with the Freeware games coming from the TIGSource and AGS crowds - but usually fail.

I am seemingly physically incapable of playing real-time games. The control schemes always freak me out (especially in 3D games), and I can never quite get the jumping-at-exactly-the-right-time that platformers require. Seriously; I tried playing Braid because I’d seen a few levels of it and was intrigued, and when it took me more than ten tries to pounce the first goomba-equivalent, I figured I’d never make it through the rest of the game, even if it is technically impossible to lose. I also find that playing games of any kind (including board games, card games, and games like Capture the Flag [with or without Stuff]) is usually more stressful than fun to me. I like watching other people play, though, and I really enjoyed watching Portal and Super Paper Mario as well as Braid; I also liked the visual style of Team Fortress 2 and Bioshock. I did play The Majesty of Colors all the way through, and I tend to play at least a few minutes of all of increpare’s in-browser games, as well.

I play Flash games, and the occasional free download – only occasional for the most part because indie developers generally don’t write for Macs. (Macs are so far off their radar that they don’t even mention that the download on their page unzips to a .exe.) I’m pretty bad at platformers but through stubbornness I can often bull my way through, though I’m stuck on the last boss rush of Cave Story (medium ending). I like roguelikes (basically nethack and this thing called Legerdemain, which might be of general interest to the board because it’s supposed to be a game with roguelike gameplay but also a story), but I wish they were shorter. Partly for that reason I play something called Magic Realm, which is actually a port of a boardgame I had as a kid – it plays a lot like an RPG.

I used to like to watch other people play, like tove, but the way my life is configured now I never do that anymore. The last videogame I spent money on was probably Yars’ Revenge. (Well, I may have put some quarters in arcade machines since then.)

Did you play the one that crashes your browser?

I’d recommend Small Worlds to you – it’s a move-and-jump platformer, but you can’t die, there isn’t anything much that involves split-second timing (you might have to repeat some parts if you miss a jump, but that’s it, and even with repeats it doesn’t take very long), it’s extremely short, I think it goes very well with your interest in architectural spaces, and it’s amazing. No spoilers.

I was so hooked on those in the early 90s. I loved the iD games before they got into 3D - Commander Keen, Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure, the original 2D Duke Nukem. I wasn’t super-great at those crazy jumps, but I never got so frustrated with them that I gave up.

I actually did, but I am in the habit of reading the comments first for his games (for exactly that sort of reason!) and had moved over to not-my-primary-browser for it.

Indeed – I just played it (and won) and loved it. Easy/short enough for me (there were a couple of jumps I found frustrating, but not too bad), and that art was just wonderful. Thanks for the recommendation!

Likewise. That was beautiful.

I really can’t fanboy enough about Small Worlds.

MMOs are generally what I play away from the IF world with World of Warcraft being the cream of the crop. Strange how you can play a game for the best part of 4 years and still not have seen everything it has to offer.

Before I got hooked on MMOs, I played Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, Diablo 2 and the like. Still have very fond memories of them and the forthcoming Diablo 3 is perhaps the only game that might pull me away from WoW for a time.

Gads, I’ve been an action videogamer since Colecovision at least. Ladybug, War Room, Venture, and Donkey Kong Jr. made up a lot of my early youth. And in the 8-bit and 16-bit Nintendo era I played just about everything, in any genre. I spent so much time with Street Fighter I reached tournament-level play during the SF2:CE / SF2:HF days. To this day I feel a little weird when around videogamers that play only one or two genres and know little of the other ones.

(So yes, I greatly liked Archon on my Commodore, though the AI back then relied on its perfect reflexes too much. But I couldn’t ever find someone to play against, cause they either couldn’t deal with the action aspect (Dad) or the chess aspect (best friend). (Dad had taught me chess when I was 9.))

Nowadays I still loosely keep up with Zelda, Castlevania, Street Fighter, and Final Fantasy, but I haven’t sunk much time into videogames since my late twenties. There’s a few indies I love, notably BreakQuest, but most Flash games leave me cold. After cutting my teeth on so many games, especially some unrealistically hard NES ones, the simplicity of most Flash games seem insipid to me. (Not that I didn’t enjoy Canabalt for twenty minutes, but I wouldn’t ever pay money for it.) Even when they’re as pretty as Orisinal’s flash games.

small worlds is magic.

I am a very… eclectic gamer. I actually run a monthly LAN party with an average attendance of around 10; we play a lot of free/open-source games: FPS like Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory or Smokin’ Guns, platform games like Teeworlds, driving games like Armagetron (a tron-like), weird multiplayer stuff like Tetrinet or Liquidwars, and RTS games like Starcraft, Kohan, or Homeworld. At home, I also play flash games like Creeper World or Desktop Tower Defense, or Magicka (hilarious, button-mashing fun at its finest!).
I love puzzles, and I love reading, too, which is why text adventures are just so awesome.