You are in a clearing

Posted on April 25, 2012

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A friend on Twitter (@munchkinstein) has taken to engaging with others in the style of an old text-based adventure. Remember those? In the days before we had much in the way of graphics on our computers, or indeed much in the way of computers, we enjoyed completely immersive, narrative driven, adventure games built entirely out of  a text-parsing interface and a database of smart-arsed replies.  You had to do everything yourself: imagine the scenes, remember where you’d been and what you’d done (or not done) previously, attempt to draw some sort of accurate map. It was probably the first step in the computer environment for fantasy gaming, an extension of the choose your own adventure books. And it brilliant.

What made these games work was the writing. The replies to your fumbling interrogations were wry, sarcastic, funny and often infuriatingly gnomic, and there was a certain, indefinable style about them that made them much loved.

> Kill rabbit

> Violence isn’t the answer to everything, you know!

They were immensely popular, and the most famous of them were probably the Zork adventures made by Infocom and the Scott Adams adventures. If you want a trip down memory lane (or check out how the world was before WoW or EQ2, actually before PCs), many of the Infocom and SAGA games are now available via little java interfaces.

But don’t forget to check out Munchkin’s brand new dedicated twitter account  (@exitsare) and help him indulge this madness from time to time too.

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Posted in: Entertainment