Earlier today I got into an accidental Twitter argument with a stranger who took umbrage at my implication that WordPerfect was a relic of a bygone era. The long and improbable thread came to a close with me conceding that “I suppose my IF pals would also be cranky at someone insistently describing text adventures as a ‘primarily historical’ phenomenon.”, to which a friend replied: “IF is the silent film of gaming.”

That got me thinking – who were our Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin? What were our Nosferatu and Metropolis? And, more to the point, what was our “The Jazz Singer”?

It’s not on topic per se, but - I’m extremely surprised to find out that Word Perfect is still out there. It was the program I took to college, but that was over a decade ago. I thought Microsoft Office and Open Office swept the field.

I gather that the legal profession, canny enough to know that if they throw money at problems they can avoid ever having to retrain for any skill, has singlehandedly kept it on life support. Random guy really took umbrage at my insinuation that his beloved product predates the IBM PC.

In my country at least, our lawyers are occasionally required to dress according to the fashions of the 19th century, in which light their reluctance to jump ship from a word processor after only 35 years is more understandable.

I work in the legal profession and we use Word. I haven’t used WordPerfect in a long time and don’t know anyone that does. When I did use it, I didn’t like it much as it always seemed like the poor man’s version of Word.

Aaaah wordperfect 5.1… the good old days. Reveal codes because we didn’t have WYSIWYG. Even used WP6 and trial Correl Office. And just today; helping my grandma move off a dying 20 year old computer… WP6. One of the first things she asked: where’s reveal codes?

silent movies equivalent, huh?

then point out to him all the text and dialogues and breadth of action than ask him to explain the silence and repetitive single action mechanics of games such as Super Mario, Tiny Thief, Angry Birds, Limbo, Journey, Ico etc

Haha. When WordPerfect came up in conversation a few months ago, I was shocked to learn that not only is it still available for purchase, but there’s also an iPad version.


I don’t have any firsthand experience, I was just going with what I gleaned from Wikipedia:

That knife can cut several ways – could be suggesting how we rely on the imaginations of the players to fill in much of what is implied by our elegant and minimalist basic text. (Of course, we’re even one step closer to the author’s concept: our works are closer to the scripts than to the films. Have there been any games with screenplay-style output?)

I suppose we haven’t yet had our “Singing in the Rain” game yet, a graphical adventure celebrating the milieu of the text adventure.

Versu has screenplay-like output, which makes a lot of sense with the heavily character-based interactions.

Kentucky Route Zero, sort of.