December 13, 2009
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IF and Hypertext Fiction

At eLit Camp yesterday, John Timmons have a terrific introduction to Inform 7, showing how to write with it, and in it.

As far as I can see, we still don't fully understand how interactive fiction (IF) relates to hypertext fiction. Sure, there are the surface differences — following links is not precisely the same as typing commands. But I think there are other, formal differences.

Differences like the limitations of stretchtext – limitations that are easy enough to remove once you understand them, but that needed to be understood and articulated. Otherwise, we’re wandering around in a maze of twisty little passages of software, bumping into the walls. And, while that’s plenty of fun and sometimes gives rise to good art, I’m not sure it’s the best way to spend our time.

Also fantastic yesterday — well, everything. But especially Landow’s talk on real and vitual cities.

I work in the visual arts, so I have nothing against glitz and images. But… — George P. Landow

And Bill Bly reminded us all of Michael Joyce and “the wave of returns.”