"Dungeons and Dragons" (term)

In the 70s and early 80s board game "Dungeons and Dragons," one player takes on the function of the dungeon master (DM). Aided by printed rule books, story outlines, and the role-playing personalities of the other participants, DM created the framework of a world within which the other participants could improvise.

The creators of Zork likened the experience of playing a "Computerized Fanatasy Simulation Game" to a conversation with "an omniscient 'Master of the Dungeon,' who rules on each proposed action and relates the consequences" (Lebling et. al, 4).

Lacking the essentially unlimited improvisational narrative that a human dugneon master could provide, IF tends to rely on self-contained puzzles which control the progression of the plot.