"Narrative-driven 'videogames' are not games at all" — an alternative history by Jimmy Maher

Let’s begin not with
humanity’s love for games, but rather its love for stories. Certainly
we can see a trend in certain kinds of art toward the telling of
stories in ever deeper and more immersive ways. A few hundred years ago
the novel came along, introducing the interior monologue; as time went
on, novels were written in ever more immediate ways, with more quoted
dialog and more realistic and frank depictions of their characters and
their characters’ actions. Some novelists tried to go further,
introducing the stream of consciousness as a literary device to
literally (hah!) put the reader inside the heads of a character without
premeditated intervention of even a first person narrator. Others tried
to involve their readers more in the story by presenting them with a
puzzle they could attempt to solve before the novel’s protagonist;
these came to be called mystery novels. Around the same time, film
appeared, a whole new, arguably still more immersive (or at least
effortless) way to connect with a storyworld. Where to go from there?
What if we could simulate a storyworld and let our “reader” actually
enact a role there, let her literally become a part of the story? — Jimmy Maher, editorial, Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games

A couple years ago, in response to a question by David Thomas, I posted this tongue-in-cheek alternative history of what the world might be like if there were no interactive fiction.