Collecting and Preserving Infocom Interactive Fiction

Although not traditionally the domain of special collections, I have chosen to use the donation to create a new collection in the area of interactive fiction, specializing in the early works published by Infocom. Interactive fiction is a genre of computer game that is more literary than most computer and video games popular today. Also known as text adventure games, these works present story text to players, who then type in commands to the computer, which then prints text in response, back and forth, in the process unfolding and determining a story. Although not commercially popular today, the genre may be of great scholarly and historical importance as interactive electronic games grow both in general popularity and as subjects worthy of academic study. —Adam MathesCollecting and Preserving Infocom Interactive Fiction (

Via Nick on GrandTextAuto., where Mathes notes that this is a hypothetical project, written for a class.

I wonder… quite honestly, are the best-known commercial IF games really the ones that are most in need of collection and preservation? Still, Infocom’s works were undeniably influential.

2 thoughts on “Collecting and Preserving Infocom Interactive Fiction

  1. Jerz,

    I’ve finally got students playing my interactive fiction/MOO game Thoughtcrime. I had to work hard to find a willing guinea pig (er, teacher) and a school whose firewall actually allowed access to the MOO.

    This week and next, students in an A.P. literature class are playing (check for update). So far, the Thought Police have tracked down and vaporized one thought criminal, but the Underground has recruited two new members . . .

    I looked at your interactive fiction stuff. A few questions: where do I get the parser? And can you design multiplayer games?

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