A Writer's Guide to Interactive Fiction

The call-and-response form of IF — “TAKE LAMP”, “I don’t know how to take the lamp” — has been a familiar gag for thirty years now.
And somewhere, in the basement of the computer game world, a few people are still writing text adventures. A few people… a few games… Actually, lots of games. Over a hundred last year, with rapidly-advancing development tools. This is a more active fandom than you might think.
So why am I interested? Books are more popular than IF; even short stories pay better than IF. What can I do with text adventures that I can’t do with traditional fiction? —Andrew Plotkin