I don’t like prescriptive classification, and this specific classification debate has been done to death over the last decades.
That said, I always thought it was interesting that video game genres signify the game’s form, rather than the setting. Novels, for example, fall into genres like science-fiction, fantasy, romance, thriller, etc. (ie. “genre literature”, as opposed to “real literature”). Video game genres, however, are usually things like first-person shooter, strategy, puzzle, role-playing game… And text adventure.
Or is “text adventure” actually the kind of genre that we apply to novels? Does it describe the form, like including puzzles and a parser, or does it describe the setting? I recently read Twisty Little Passages by Nick Montfort, and came across this passage early on in the book:
Not all interactive fiction works, and not even all classic works in the form, are text adventures. The third work from Infocom, Marc Blank’s Deadline, is not a text adventure but a detective mystery, in contrast to the fantasy adventures of the Zork series and contemporary adventures such as Infidel. The setting is a house, and the entire plan of the house is provided in the documentation. Although interviewing murder suspects may be unusual for the interactor and may involve some danger to the protagonist, the situation is a very ordinary one for the main character, a detective.
According to this definition, it’s not the parser that makes something a text adventure, it’s whether the game setting is an adventure, whether there’s exploration, etc. I think most people agree that the term “text adventure” refers to Adventure, ie. it describes a game that is “Adventure-like”, but what parts of Adventure do they imitate? The parser and interactivity, or the adventurous plot? Likewise, we have MUDs, which are “MUD-likes”, and MUD itself is a Zork-like (or Dungeon-like, as it were).
And this reminds me of a similar genre classification debate in video games: Roguelikes. They’re a class of game that imitates Rogue, the famous turn-based dungeon crawler (itself inspired by Adventure). Of course, the problem with genres that are based on specific games is that the definition of the genre relies on a fairly strict definition, defined by the original game. When several games started eschewing principles of roguelikes, probably primarily being turn-based, people in the roguelike community sat down and wrote down a set of “rules” for a game to follow in order to be classified as a roguelike (games that fell outside were usually amusingly called “roguelike-likes”, and more recently, “roguelites”). That’s the Berlin interpretation. I guess the IF community could have done something similar once, if they wanted, but instead the genre definitions have evolved and adapted (which of course is the natural order of things).
“Hurry”? Like zarf said earlier, this change in terminology has been happening since the 90s. Anyway, restricting the term “text adventure” to parser-based games isn’t necessary nowadays, since we have the more precise term “parser IF”.