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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Re: Low Production Value Theater

posted by on April 9 at 15:47 PM

Paul, I’m tempted to chastise you for linking to a years-old download site, but I suppose there’s nothing wrong with plugging the best of the old gaming era—the storied, dusty text adventure. Still, why stop there? This is the modern era, and just as any shlub can start a band, a blog, or a paid sex site on the Internet, so too can they become a bona fide author of interactive fiction.

The barrier to entry has kept modern IF pretty meaty—it’s not a profitable enterprise in the world of the Wii and 360, but annual contests at sites like and have kept hardcore followers sated for over a decade. The above links (along with the semi-newbie-friendly Baf’s Guide) have tons of reviews, recommendations and downloads for anybody eager to LOOK, TAKE, and USE an interactive fiction game of their own.

I’m compelled to point out a recent Games for Windows Magazine article about IF (which I got a few of those links from), as the mag shut down this week—proving that music mags aren’t the only ones falling by the wayside these days. Didn’t read the mag? Shame, because GFW was a rare breed of gaming mag that treated its readers—and outsiders—like adults, telling compelling stories that went beyond reviews and previews (Native American depictions in games, debate-style run-throughs of popular titles, how games and politics were beginning to sensibly meld, etc.). In an era when video games finally deserve long-form articles, it’s sad to see a mag fall apart right at its stride, when it was delivering on the goods and rising above the never-ending sea of nerdy blogs. RIP, GFW.

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Make your own Interactive Fiction. It's good, nerdy fun.

Posted by JC | April 9, 2008 4:02 PM

Most game "journalism" mags are awful and always have been, surpassed only by game "journalism" websites for sheer ugliness and general awful uselessness.

Play is a rare exception in the sea of pointless newsstand-cloggers.

Games for Windows: The Official Magazine (formerly Computer Gaming World) had one of the worst titles ever given to a print magazine, though.

Posted by Peter F | April 9, 2008 4:04 PM

Woo! Finally, my moment to shine on SLOG! For you see, I sir, have not only -written- interactive fiction, but am, in fact, an -award winning- writer of interactive fiction. I took 1997's XYZZY award for Best Writing, for my game, Sunset Over Savannah: An Existential Vacation (easily found at BAF's guide). And a more gratifying moment there never was, I tell you.

So now you know.

Posted by Ivan Cockrum | April 9, 2008 9:05 PM

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