"Whom the Tellling Changed"

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2005
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Whom the Telling Changed is a short accessible piece of interactive fiction that incorporates several remarkable innovations. The reader can direct a character to do certain things, as is typical in interactive fiction, but is also able to influence the outcome of an important storytelling session, one which shapes a Sumerian people's course of action. Whom the Telling Changed adds hypertextual aspects to the conventional interactive fiction interface and shapes the story-world in unusual ways based on the reader's input.

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In this interactive short story, author Aaron A. Reed explores what storytelling meant to the earliest civilizations and what it will mean in the 21st century. The player takes the role of a villager thousands of years ago whose people have gathered to hear their storyteller tell part of the epic of Gilgamesh. As the player traverses the mostly linear plot, he or she accumulates a history based on decisions both important and trivial that ultimately impact the outcome and significance of the frame story. Hypertext-like keywords allow the player to raise points in the interior story, persuading the crowd and other characters to corresponding points of view, while a more robust interactive fiction parser allows the player to interact extensively with the frame story.

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Pål Kjelkenes