Zork and the Worlds of Text-Based Adventuring

CBC’s “The Artists” series 1 episode 5 centers on Infocom and interactive fiction.

Includes discussions with Dave Lebling, Mike Dornbrook, Brian Moriarty, Steve Meretzky and Jason Scott (of Get Lamp fame) among others.

Wordsmiths: Zork and the Worlds of Text-Based Adventuring

Before video games could get graphic, text-based adventures imagined the future of literature.

Due to CBC licensing restrictions, this may not be viewable outside Canada.
watch.cbc.ca/media/the-artists/ … 0e57ce3383

Thanks for posting.

It’s been generally assumed that the death of the text adventure was due to the facts;

  • people don’t want to read anymore
  • people don’t want to type anymore

There is truth in this, but something I’m learning is that those statements are only true in general and there are many specific counter examples.

For example, use of mobile phones demonstrates that people just love typing messages to each other. This tells you that people in general are still motivated to type when it’s a form of interpersonal communication. Remember when people had to SMS via the numeric keypad. It was crazy, but people got so good at it.

Books are still selling. I see a lot of people reading books still, for example, on trains. The main change appears now they use Kindles to read them. Looking over their shoulders, i see their Kindle books are usually all text. All text!

So actually, the statements above are not 100% accurate and, in truth, the right application of text together with some pictures to help out may still prove viable as part of a niche market that definitely exists.

I’m not the first person to notice this, but I think it’s not a coincidence that the heyday of parser games was when typing at a command prompt was the standard way of using a computer. It’s less “people don’t want to type” and more “typing isn’t how you tell a computer program what to do”.

The problem I have with this line of thought (which has come up before) is that every person on the internet does those 2 things every minute they’re online: reading and typing.

Just saying, that’s a bit myopic I think. :astonished: