Approximately twenty-five years have passed since the production of the first widely-distributed computer games; but the medium still appears malleable and novel, and its criticism remains a new and open field. Much work remains to be done, and many questions have not been asked. What vocabulary will be necessary for a literate engagement with the media of interactive entertainment? What, if any, are the distinctive formal and cultural characteristics of games as distinct from other media? What are, and will be, the standards for critical judgment and interpretation of games? —Form, Culture, and Video Game Criticism | Princeton, March 6, 2004KairosNews/UPenn CFP)
Assuming the SHU powers that be grant my funding request, I’ll be attending this conference to present a paper on the history of Will Crowther’s original version of what became known as “Colossal Cave Adventure.” Crowther’s version is presumed to be lost, but I’ve collected what I can about the version of the game that was found, modified, and re-released by Don Woods.
The paper is part of an article commissioned for the history section of the IF Theorybook, as editor-in-chief Emily Short nicknames it in her e-mails. Maybe Interactive Fiction: History, Craft, and Theory would be a more accurate title. But that would involve a horrid academic colon.
The conference organizes say they don’t have a web presence, so I’m just blogging the announcement in KairosNews that prompted me to send in my proposal. The conference is being held by the English Department at Princeton.