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Interactive fiction -- the best-known form of which is the text game or text adventure -- has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots. Twisty Little Passages (the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction) is the first book-length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives. Nick Montfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first-time users a way to approach interactive fiction that will lead to a more pleasurable and meaningful experience of it. Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced by Infocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s. Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms. With Twisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262633185
ISBN-10: 0262633183
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 302
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Nick Montfort

Indra de Soysa is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Political and Cultural Change, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. He has recently published articles in Journal of Conflict Resolution, American Sociologica lReview, and Journal of Peace Research. His research topics are the causes of civil violence, the economic and social effects of globalization, and the political economy of governance. He has a book forthcoming entitled Foreign Direct Investment, Democracy, & Development: The Contours, Correlates, and Concomitants of Globalization.

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