IF Community

the f-word is too sexist. Please think of all asexuals in the world, you bigot.

they actually first called it the non-sense “Interlogic”. It wasn’t up to the likes of HHGG and Trinity that they went for IF.

adventures they were called all perceived clones of Adventure. and then text adventures since sierra brought on graphics. Most of the best IF I played hardly felt like an adventure at all, the term is not really precise.

like it or not, parser games is the most accurate. I prefer dialogame, as it’s a constant dialogue between the player the game designer :wink:

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Funny you should say that! The spanish call it “aventura conversacional”, which translates to “conversational adventure”, which is essentially what you just said.

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yes, I’m aware of it, though they still sell it as aventura.

anyway, the game that really made me more objectively aware of it was Spider and Web. but it really is that way for all of them


god forbid one of our premier IF authors can’t express her very welcome opinions

IF is made much more worthwhile when can there be open discussions even over thorny issues. I remember Cadre’s disappointment upon the release of Endless, Nameless in 2012 to find that the IF community was by then already much less open to free and creative discussion regarding games…

and that is what we should be talking about, games. Not all this circlejerk about the community itself.

For the record, I’m not a Porpentine fan either. She does like to start stuff and then kind of leave, and that’s what happened with the whole CoC and how Merk left. I’ve always been disappointed with this, particularly because Merk allowed other trolls to come along to the forum–and they were kept in check. Some even contributed positively. Other trolls got due process before they were banned, and really, I enjoyed reading the community’s reasoning about when a troll crossed a line. This discussion (as opposed to Porpentine bowling people over with wild proclamations in all caps or no caps) helped me. So many people pointed out what to look for in terms of trolls, and it’s helped on other sites and message boards.

And I think nobody even said her name here until now and it’s been 2 years. The thing is I’ve read this argument too much:

“Porpentine is exciting! Porpentine brings up tricky questions! Porpentine makes you think in different ways! You have to be impressed by how she gains attention!”

Many other people do so without antagonizing others. Yes, sometimes you have to antagonize people, but as you mentioned…logical fallacy. Porpentine is good at picking off people who may have trouble defending themselves, or who can be dogpiled, and when called on it, backs away or appeals to emotion.

When it comes to Porpentine I think of the story of the dot and the line. And I think of Porpentine as the squiggle. That’s helped me a lot–maybe it will help others.

I think Porpentine has been very divisive and people haven’t been able to say it, and she’s gotten a free ride.


I’ve played a few really good or at least amusing works, but most of them seem like puke-inducing sadist fantasy I don’t care about.

that said, they play more like hypertext beat poetry than proper IF

Yes, I think one thing I won’t budge on is when “Interactive Fiction” encompasses “look what sleight of hand tricks it tries to provoke a reaction emotionally in you” especially when the main interaction is slowing people down.

I don’t see why people should be ashamed of, or shame, hypertext beat poetry (I like the term) … but nonetheless it maybe should not be put up as an example for, well, fiction. Or something that is more organized.

I also think one big problem is that experimentation is good, and we should do more of it. http://kottke.org/09/02/art-and-fear has an example. It’s certainly helped me. And in this regard, Porpentine’s experiments can encourage people. The problem is when people don’t treat them as experiments but as near-gospel. I’ve seen this happen in other writing group contexts as well.

Playing devil’s advocate for a second, I think a major criticism of the parser community is that it’s latched onto a certain format as near-gospel.

Which is silly (leaving devil’s advocate mode). Between Curses, Galatea, Photopia, Spider and Web, and Kerkerkruip, it seems clear that there IS no near-gospel. But non-parser people still cling to that. Weird.

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Re: Porpentine’s work: I found howling dogs effective. The constrained and progressively disintegrating real world, in which one is forced to perform repetitive and mundane tasks before being allowed reentry to a vibrant virtual world, resonated with me.[quote=“PeterPiers, post:132, topic:250”]
I think a major criticism of the parser community is that it’s latched onto a certain format as near-gospel.
I think that this is a function of where one draws the boundaries of the genre and, given the existence of nested subgenres, in what genre (at what level) an author intends to conduct an experiment.

An experiment in IF is going to have different constraints than an experiment in puzzle-based parser IF, which will have different constraints than an experiment in investigating-my-eccentric-relative’s-house-as-a-condition-of-receiving-my-inheritance puzzle-based parser IF.

It doesn’t make sense to criticize an experiment in a specific subgenre for adhering to the essentials that define that subgenre. The value is in trying to do something new within those constraints. See the old saying about constraints inspiring creativity.

An obvious question is: well, then, how do genres evolve if the boundaries are set in stone? I think the answer is that someone comes along and shows us by example that some things that we thought were essential actually weren’t. This helps us to better understand over time what the core of the genre actually is: those essentials that haven’t (yet?) been convincingly overthrown.

Started watching this and noticed that it was written by Norton Juster, the author of The Phantom Tollbooth.

You need to leave your pride at the door if what you are presenting is not a net positive to the community, otherwise your attitude will just jeopardize that which you love.

The way I see it, any format that gets listed on the IFDB is IF. While I prefer parser games, that is just my personal preference, and they are in no way superior to choice games. The benefit of inclusivity in our community is that maybe some players entering to just play twines end up playing parsers, and some authors who just create twines decide to create a game in inform, and vice versa. Maybe twine authors inspire inform authors, and vice versa. Maybe all that happens is everybody just ends up having a good time doing what they like, which you can’t ask for much more than that.

Additionally, the thing that worries me the most is that while there are many individuals who contribute to IF, and many more times that in players, there is probably only about 10 people or so that if they were to say “this drama just isn’t worth it”, our community would get decimated.


So if I’m reading this correctly, you’re criticizing this story for having (I assume; I haven’t played it) a Latina protagonist?


After more discussion, and with desire not to unwittingly re-offend,
he has decided not to further participate in reviewing IFComp
(humorously or otherwise) this year and has removed the previous posts
and reviews that the forum software allowed him to.

Yeah. This is one of the reasons I decided not to participate in that place any more. Sheesh.

Just like what happened in Euphoria with the vaporware incident - which ALSO included WesLesley - , the perceived attacker was bullied into being the victim - without any attack having taken place. Out of respect for WesLesley I won’t quote his last post, but it’s very revealing - shows what can happen when you imagine slights and pounce on them mercilessly. You don’t protect; you destroy.

So, one of the things that was great about Usenet, one of the big reasons for staying over there was that posts couldn’t be deleted. It drives me crazy that every forum in the world now does so now. Good grief, just let adults talk to each other.


Peter, vaporware said he was intentionally testing the boundaries of what was allowed in the chat room. He said this himself. I mention this because I think it’s a particularly sore spot with the Euphoria crowd that you portray vaporware as having landed in that situation purely by accident. If you want to reduce the amount of vitriol aimed at you, you could do worse than to stop bringing up this incident as an example of vaporware being an unwitting victim. I seriously doubt vaporware’s feelings will be hurt if you acknowledge that he sometimes says provocative things on purpose. (Sorry to talk about you in the third person, vaporware.)

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yes, but sadly it ended when users deleted themselves from it :confused:

P.S. Peter, I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m trying to attack or demonize you. Honestly I’m trying to help. I’m tired of the fighting, too.

That’s why I definitely left that place, actually.

Actually, the Euphoria incident was also precipitated by a WesLesley comment. And AFTER the incident WesLesley said a lot of things that made for a hard read, not unlike what happened just now. In the Euphoria incident, WesLesley was the person most affected.

What vaporware said for reasons of testing is what I might say myself, or would expect a number of other people to say, for reasons of humour. In this particular case there was an agenda (and not even an agenda to offend, just to test the waters); in a similar case next time there probably wouldn’t be, but the level of the response would probably be the same (I might be wrong; I can’t predict the future, except in that small way that we all do when we think like this).

The varpoware incident was very revealing to me of a certain mindset among certain people. It was an eye-opening experience. I can’t forget it and I can’t let that drop, because it affected me and my perception of the current state of the IF community. It’s a festering wound, only partially scabbed over. And the issue that happened just a few days ago with this new WesLesley / Lucea thing is an indication that it’s still going on, and people are still being bullied.

Just like the author of a vampire story, in a clear and unambiguous piece of genre writing, was bullied into saying that the vampire’s servants were “minions” rather than “gypsies”.

Probably I shouldn’t have complained about the vitriol in the other thread. I deserve it, because I am utterly unwilling to let this lie. It goes against a number of things I believe in and stand for, INCLUDING the ability to talk things over rationally before jumping to conclusions, reactions and acting on them.

No worries.

what can you expect from SJWs trying to rewrite history with tons of female pirates?