Pundits have been predicting the arrival of “interactive fiction” for decades — dating back at least to the clunky, campy Choose-Your-Own-Adventures of the 1980s. Video games ploughed some of this terrain: Some of the first, likeZork, were text-based adventures, which themselves were born out of the storytelling vibe ofDungeons and Dragons. ButHotel Dusk is one of the first games to pitch itself more as book than a form of play, which made me wonder: Is it really possible to make reading into a game? —Clive Thompson —Hotel Dusk: Novel or Game? (Wired)
I don’t have a Nintendo DS, so I won’t be able to play this. The structure of the essay is a little bit like a freshman comp essay — “Some people say A, others say B, but in conclusion, the truth is somewhere between A and B.” I’d rather he start with a thesis that posits the truth being somewhere between, and spend the essay developing that idea, rather than save it for the conclusion. And, of course I would have preferred interactive fiction to get more than a cursory mention.
Nevertheless I still welcome a thoughtful review that treats the general subject of reading-as-games.