IF Reading

Recently, MIT hosted a Purple Blurb event which showcased interactive fiction writers Jeremy Freese and Emily Short.

Freese read from Violet, an interesting interactive fiction told in the voice of the protagonist’s girlfriend. She entreats you to write a thousand words of your dissertation, overcoming obstacles of procrastination that seem to keep popping up.

Short read from Alabaster, a work that experiments with a collaborative process of IF creation. You are the huntsman. You are traveling into the forest with Snow White. You intend to kill her. Is she as innocent as she seems, or is there more to the story than we know? The player interacts with Snow White, asking her questions to glean bits of information.

I had never been to an IF reading, and I must say that the experience is very different from reading the work at home, or even watching it played. The readers read the text while an “interactor” manipulated the software, typing in commands to ensure that no time was wasted. Thus, the audience did not get to experience the pleasure of solving the puzzles, but instead was privy to easter eggs and areas of the text that they might otherwise have missed. The format also allowed for showing lots of the text in a brief session.