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Twisty Little Passages

Twisty Little Passages
  • Author: Nick Montfort
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 9780262633185
  • Page: 286
  • View: 180

An introduction to interactive fiction, exploring the form from gaming and literary perspectives.

Interactive fiction -- the best-known form of which is the text game or textadventure -- has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronicliterature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots. Twisty LittlePassages (the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction) is the firstbook-length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives. NickMontfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first-time users a wayto approach interactive fiction that will lead to a more pleasurable and meaningful experience ofit.Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literaryancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Chingand Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed inresponse, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers theintroduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced byInfocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence ofindependent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s.Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms. WithTwisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literarycontexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.


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