The joy of text-the fall and rise of interactive fiction.

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Abstract (in English): 

he annual Interactive Fiction Competition is an institution that has endured for almost 20 years, with the goal of discovering each year’s best and brightest works in the world of text-based gaming. The genre is surprisingly broad and complex – and this year’s entries show how much text games have to offer modern audiences, even those who don’t ordinarily play computer games.

The age of free and intuitive creation tools, combined with the explosion of mobile platforms, e-reader devices and an audience that’s comfortable reading screens, means a brand-new opportunity for fresh narrative experiences that stand to attract new types of players.

Veteran gamers may remember the text-based adventures of history – titles like Adventureland, Zork and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Arriving in the late 1970s and early 80s, they were taut, forbidding puzzles of logic and language; proceeding the age of graphics on home computers, they made the most of constraints, using brief, carefully chosen prose and a limited list of terse commands to create the experience.

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Martin Li