Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction / Edition 1

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Overview

Interactive fiction — the best-known form of which is the text game or text adventure — has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots. Twisty Little Passages (the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction) is the first book-length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives. Nick Montfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first-time users a way to approach interactive fiction that will lead to a more pleasurable and meaningful experience of it.Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced by Infocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent 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. With Twisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Anyone interested in the use of technology for artistic and cultural purposes should crack open Twisty Little Passages." Book Bytes
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262633185
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Sales rank: 844,930
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Montfort is Associate Professor of Digital Media at MIT and the coauthor of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (MIT Press,2009).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Pleasure of the Text Adventure 1
2 Riddles 37
3 Adventure and Its Ancestors 65
4 Zork and Other Mainframe Works 95
5 Infocom and Commercial Beginnings 119
6 Different Visions Worldwide 169
7 The Independents 193
8 Interactive Fiction in Our Culture 223
Interactive Fiction Works Cited 235
Secondary Sources 247
Index 273
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