Why I use #IntFic tag on Twitter

I’d like to thank vaporware for setting up this forum. I think it’s a good idea and that less moderated alternatives to the other forum are increasingly sorely needed (although, I tend to prefer UNmoderated alternatives).

Unfortunately in the short term, I will not be able to devote much time to posting here because I’ve already committed to post all of my IFcomp reviews to the #IntFic tag on Twitter. That tag has been suppressed by IntFiction org and I don’t wish to let their attempts to silence it succeed. Granted, it isn’t the best place for detailed discussion, but it IS the best place to recruit new players to interactive fiction. That has always been my goal. This new forum right here is populated by names I already recognise, and that’s great. But my primary goal has been to try to attract names I don’t recognise. I play IF on Twitter so that my observations and screencaps are as difficult to ignore as possible. I’m getting people playing IF again by pushing screencaps into their timelines, essentially. People who haven’t played in years or even decades, and they’re loving it, especially the parser games. They are really into those.

Most of these new players (but not all of them) are drawn from my pool of Twitter acquaintances who also support GamerGate (of whom there are many thousands). This collection of highly nostalgic and highly mutually supportive gamers is a huge opportunity for interactive fiction that we really shouldn’t be ignoring. But it seems like most of the IF community has a massive blind spot for any new players that are not willing to pay lip service to certain ideological shibboleths, and GamerGaters most certainly aren’t ever going to do that.

Since I am the only IntFiction org regular who appears to have overcome the blind moral panic to actually step up and publically support rank and file ‘gamers’, I guess I am the only one positioned to turn this opportunity to the benefit of the medium itself (particularly for the health of the parser segment of the community, which has been called into question of late). So that’s where I really need to put my time right now, is on Twitter, ‘performing’ the playing of interactive fiction for ‘gamers’ – and make no mistake, that is what I am doing. I am performing the actual playing of these games in people’s timelines - right up in their faces: not miles away on some blog post behind a link almost nobody clicks. If you are just posting links on Twitter to your blogs, then you are not really putting interactive fiction ‘on’ Twitter. You are holding social media at arms length, like a dirty rag.

I really REALLY care about increasing the number and variety of types of players of interactive fiction. Many of the debates I’ve had on IntFiction org were me trying to wake the community up to how opaque it has become to outsiders: I have disagreed with the way they try to distance themselves from compass-and-lantern tropes as ‘immature’ (which is purely self-defeating since these ARE the symbols that have been shown to successfully draw in the most newcomers). I disagree with the way they discourage newbie devs from doing things that ‘have already been done’. (The larger indie game community doesn’t do this. They tend to enthusiastically ENCOURAGE retro games that have ‘already been done’, for the sheer love of them - maybe that’s why they keep growing and parser games don’t?)

I highly encourage anyone who genuinely wants to attract a new crowd to interactive fiction to post actual content on social media (Twitter’s the best bet). Push actually interesting sentences regarding this exquisite form of art IN FRONT OF people’s faces. I urge you to do this regardless of whether you like me or GamerGate, or whether you want to use the #IntFic tag. Do it on the #IFcomp tag (which is pretty dead and needs the help). Do it on your timelines. Invent a new tag, whatever. Just MAKE PEOPLE SEE IT. Show people what you love; show them the value of it. Don’t just politely ask them to click some link which they will only bother with if they are already into interactive fiction. That’s not how recruiting works.

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend and I’ve got family outings for the next 3 days, so I won’t be doing a lot of online activity, but if you wish to join me next week on the #IntFic to help me ‘perform’ our enjoyment of our medium for the world, here’s the link…


I will not return here to debate any ridiculous assertion that GamerGate is a hate group of horrible, hateful, dangerous terrorists. I get enough of that defending myself on Twitter, thanks. I will only return here for more substantive IF discussions than are possible on Twitter, and to talk to Peter Pears. 8)

I will return to the IntFiction org echo chamber again ONLY if I need help with actual coding, and I will confine myself to the coding forums, so all the ninnies there working themselves into paroxysmal performances of panic can unbunch their underwear and relax.

For any Canadians among you, Happy Thanksgiving, and for the rest, Happy Weekend.


I wouldn’t say vaporware intended this forum as a place to vent, however. (I don’t mean your entire post, just parts of it.) I’m pretty removed from everything that has to do with intfiction, gamergate or what have you, but it’s generally good form to not carry over stuff from one place to another. Speaking as a sometime participant (sometimes vocal) in that sort of stuff on other forums and other topics.

Sorry if I misinterpreted Trip’s post. It’s just that I have been told A LOT lately to take my opinions elsewhere, even when they are specifically about recruiting more players to interactive fiction.

Sorry I don’t know how to quote properly yet, either, but I’m in a hurry. Vaporware said this:

“I’ve made a conscious choice to allow the expression of whatever ideas and opinions other members want to express on topics related to IF, IF-related events, and the IF community. That’s one thing that makes this board different.”

Since this is apparently the ‘step in the poop’ thread, I’m going to step in the poop again and say that I find it incredibly sad, and very telling about where the establishment of online ‘safe spaces’ is leading us, that the quote above would not be auomatically approved by the main intfiction board. That another board would have to be created to allows members to “express on topics related to IF, IF-related events, and the IF community”, then that tells you right there that there is something seriously, politically wrong, with the status quo.

As for Twitter being glib, yes that’s a very good one-word, no-bullshit description of both its strengths and its weaknesses. I don’t use it because I am afraid of longform posts. Anyone who has seen me posting about IF knows that I do tend to run on. I use Twitter b/c of who it gives me access to, and how it organised their time (into small reading chunks) so that they actually HAVE TIME to read what I wrote. So I can push a screenshot at them and maybe hook them into something more. This is why basically everybody uses Twitter, IMO, although some disguise. This can get crass when the power of the ‘hook’ is used only for self-promotion, but when used to promote a cause or a hobby, it cuts through a lot of noise! There are no good subsitutes that I have seen; longform social media bogs people down and ends up no better than a forum for spreading info.

Peter: I never knew you were Portuguese. (Or at least, live there.) My heritage is Portuguese although I was born in Canada and have lived in or near Toronto all my life.


Well, it would seem you’re still rankled, so no further responses from me :slight_smile: Sorry for the faux pas.

This thread is OK. I’ve made a conscious choice to allow the expression of whatever ideas and opinions other members want to express on topics related to IF, IF-related events, and the IF community. That’s one thing that makes this board different.

However, I still reserve the right to organize/combine/split/rename threads so people who aren’t interested in contentious topics can avoid clicking on them. Some people are coming here to avoid drama, so if it turns out there has to be drama, let’s keep it contained to obvious drama zones.

Oh, all right then. Appreciate the organizing/combining/splitting/renaming decision, too :slight_smile: (Also, doesn’t the standard smiley strike you as too happy somehow? Feel like I’m lolling all the time here…)

Welcome, Laroquod, even if you plan to only occasionally come here. I always liked to see you on the other place, and it’s always good to see you here as well. :slight_smile:

Given Laroquod’s recent issues in the other forum, I think it’s only natural in his first post here he wished to address them - it’s like what most of us did in the “introductions” thread, where we said “What are my hopes for this board”. It’s all cool. :smiley: The advantage of this place, which hopefully will attract more similar-minded people, is that we have chosen to remove ourselves from some issues so we can talk about what we love.

Remember the “nerd filter” someone else talked about? Well, we’re all nerds here and we can talk freely without anyone getting offended, I think. :smiley:

I think I’ve come down with a case of smiley bloat. Someone shoot me before I start using embarassing emoticons.

I like the idea of using twitter to promote IF beyond just some convenient links. I’ll try to make a point to include more screenshots in future posts about IF.

There are some that don’t miss the days of XYZZYnews. They found it too glib and much prefer the more academic approach of SPAG (which also isn’t seeing much releases these days but much of the same content have moved on to individual blogs).

Tweeting IF seems to me to tap into the same kind of mentality as XYZZYnews. It’s just that expression of “hey, isn’t this cool?” at a simple and accessible level.

Sounds ideal to recruit newcomers. :slight_smile:

I deal with a lot of artistic people, of various ages. All but some of the older people…

…context: the older people, here is Portugal, even just around 50 which is not old at all, lived through the dictatorship. While not as bad as in other countries, it left the country hopelessly backwards for a while, closed on itself. My generation was the first one to be born in the definitely-post-revolution era, and the new generation since is perfectly comfortable with technology and everything new, but we sort of skipped the vital step where all technology was still new and budding and there was sheer pleasure just in seeing programming work; end result, in Portugal we have essentially FPS players and wargame players, a strong but scattered RPG audience, a few adventure game players, and a handful of IFers, and for some people technology is still a blur and they equate videogames with pong so hopelessly they’ll never be interested in IF…

…find the concept of IF amazingly intriguing. Whatever works for bringing those people on, I say let’s!

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Oh look this board does proper threading, so my post ended up way up top. I guess no more being lazy and combining all my replies into a single post! lol

I personally find it pretty confusing to navigate, but I suppose I’ll get used to it!

Well, sir, I am glad to make your acquaintance as a Portuguese-heritaged-person. Further proof that our masterplan to slowly take over the world is working. I estimate that by 7001 78,341% of the world population will have Portuguese blood.

No one will actually be speaking Portuguese by then, of course; the language of choice will be Frengmanin, a combination of four languages that I’ll leave you to guess at; and the country itself will have probably been annexed by Spain, or made a Brazilian colony; but the blood will be there!

yeah, I guess reading short bursts of text and writing even shorter ones is something that IFers and twitters have in common. Unfortunately, it always boils down to the new audience being old text adventure fans rediscovering it and anxious to give one more shot at Zork. I really wish they were pimple-ridden faces rather than wrinkled…

Through GamerGate I’ve met more people interested in IntFic (including old school) on Twitter than ever before, and they are not all wrinkled faces. Some of them are under 30. Mind you they aren’t passionately interested. They would probably need better modern games for that. We need to create a sense of excitement, of something happening.

P.S. to Peter, regarding the spread of ‘Portuguese blood’. I read some science that if you go back more than 1000 years, you are as related to the people on the opposite side of the world as you are to what you think of as your ‘direct’ ancestors. So according to that, if they don’t already, everyone will have Portuguese blood by 3015. 8)

Yeah, we need hype and tv commercials like the big guys. :slight_smile: