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.