This Ain’t No American Phone Booth

“You are standing in the middle of a pretty town square in the center of a nondescript English town. Like most any other non-descript English towns, there’s not much to see or do here, but maybe you’ll find something amusing and enjoyable to do.

A shiny metal phone booth sits in the center of the square.” — Moira RichardsonThis Ain’t No American Phone Booth (Join This Cult)

My Writing for the Internet student Moira Richardson presented this as her final project today. It was inspired by “Pick up the Phone Booth and Die,” a silly but legendary work of interactive fiction that I find very useful for introducing the concept of command-line cybertext.

Moira informed the class that, embedded within this hypertext, is a hidden link that leads to yet another work of literary hypertext (it’s a collage of images and text relating to roses). The rose project itself would have fulfilled the assignment requirements…

I couldn’t keep myself from interrupting Moira’s presentation to blather praise to the effect that she has not only written an amusing postmodern work of literary hypertext, she has also built not only the picture frame, but the wing of the museum where it is housed.

I’ll post a link to all the other student projects once I’ve assembled an index. Meanwhile, I also recommend Chris Ulicne’s IF game “Elementia” (playable via a web browser). It’s very short but polished. I wasn’t able to spend much time teaching Inform (the programming language I use for text adventure games) in this class, so Chris learned quite a lot on his own.

6 thoughts on “This Ain’t No American Phone Booth

  1. Great! This year’s “Writing for the Internet” is just starting an interactive fiction unit. I’ll have them take a look at your project once we get into the writing phase.

  2. *blushes* thanks! ;c)

    I’ll definitely keep working on my projects… if you only saw the files on not-quite-finished stuff on my computer… sigh!

    I’m glad you became a teacher.. I’m definitely diggin’ your vibe! See ya next semester! ;c)

  3. Moira, I do hope you continue working on your projects… while I’ve noticed plenty of crabby academic bloggers out there, since we all have huge stacks of papers to mark, students like you remind me why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.

  4. Thanks so much for the link and the compliments! I had a BLAST with this project! I’ve definitely been feeling inspired to get some stuff going online again and Writing for the Internet definitely provided the boost I needed. I think hypertext fiction was just the thing I was seeking! :c)

    I want to eventually expand the site into “Moira Does Europe” which will be a collection of different European-themed hypertext projects. I’m spending the summer with a relative in England so I figure that will be the perfect time to work on it. :c) Thanks a bunch for the inspiration!

  5. I knew this day would come! I’m very proud of our students and very happy to see creative hypertext and interactive fiction as a part of our New Media Journalism program! Moira did some FANTASTIC work on this project! Can’t wait to read the others. If you see these students again before the term expires, please let them know how excited I am!

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