On separating choice & parser, I don’t think it’s necessary, yet I also don’t see how it’s a terrible or offensive idea.
AlethiCorp feels like a choice game to me - the unusual interface and the fact that at some point you have to enter a name/string (IIRC) don’t really change that.
I agree there games which blur the parser-choice separation, perhaps by using both systems in different parts (though I don’t consider parser games with conversation menus an example of this), but don’t think AlethiCorp was one.
By some definition all videogames could be ‘interactive fiction’. It’s fiction you interactw ith.
Sure, the amount of textual input & output is usually far smaller than what we generally call IF, but that’s a matter of quantity rather than quality.
Yet I don’t think many here would like FPS or pure strategy games in the IfComp.
There are specific requirements to be a presidential candidate though. Of course some are very controversial, such as being a ‘natural-born’ citizen.
That and there can only be one president of the US, while a hypothetical IF with separate parser & choice categories would have two 1st place winners.
As for separate but equal, isn’t it one thing to apply it to society as whole, another to competitions? The main problem being that one of the groups gets a much worse treatment (so it’s not actually equal).
That wouldn’t necessarily happen for a game competition with separate categories where everyone has access to the exact same prize pool.
I remember that in the past parser-only donations to the prize pool were offered (they wanted to encourage this kind of game), but only accepted after a choice-only equivalent was provided (by someone else, IIRC) too.
Of course, if parser & choice were completely separate then each prize would need to be duplicated which is simply not feasible.
TL,DR: Maybe having parser & choice categories wouldn’t be so terrible or controversial if we could ensure the same rewards for author, but we can’t.
Leaving aside this, one thing that I’d like to bring up (again) on voting is that the example voting guidelines suggest trying to be somewhat objective - judge a game compared to its importance to IF as a whole and whether you would recommend it or not - but it is considered perfectly acceptable to vote subjectively and ‘normalize’ voting by giving 10 to the game you consider the best, even if you do not believe that “People interested in the form will be talking about and studying this game for years to come.”
I think it might be a good thing to mention this on the site, because many people might not realize and want to vote that way (to make their votes matter more both on games they like & dislike), but think they might be breaking the rules or doing something unproper.