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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Monday, October 18, 2010

TEXT ADVENTURES

>NATIONALIZE HEALTHCARE

I'M SORRY, THIS NAME WILL NOT WORK. DO YOU WANT TO CALL IT SOMETHING DIFFERENT?

>REFORM HEALTHCARE

YOU WILL NEED A CONGRESS AND SENATE TO "REFORM HEALTHCARE" IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Zork Screen
Even if you're not as old as me you probably have played some of those old text adventures (I even wrote a small one for the TRS-80). They were without graphics and required small commands such as "walk left" for your interaction. In essence, the computer handled your interaction and you gave it basic commands then it would describe what you saw. Some of these games were very clever and creative, but few were as much so as the one Iowahawk recently came up with.

Pushing the boundaries of satire into new territories is always a tough task but he's done it again. This time, its in the form of a text adventure like Zork, and you play a power hungry Senator from Illinois. Here are a few samples:
WELCOME TO ADVENTURE! WOULD YOU LIKE INSTRUCTIONS?

>YES

YOU ARE SOMEWHERE IN BELTWAY FOREST, WHERE SOME HAVE FOUND TREASURES OF GOLD ALTHOUGH SOME HAVE ENTERED AND NEVER BEEN SEEN AGAIN. MAGIC IS SAID TO WORK IN THE FOREST. I WILL BE YOUR EYES AND HANDS. DIRECT ME WITH SIMPLE COMMANDS.

YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. THERE IS SNOW OUTSIDE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON DESK THERE IS A BUST OF CHURCHILL.

YOU HAVE A CONGRESS.

YOU HAVE A SENATE.

YOU HAVE A MEDIA.

YOU HAVE A TELEPROMPTER.

YOU HAVE A MILITARY.

YOU HAVE A BIG JET.

YOU HAVE $3 TRILLION OF GOLD.

YOU HAVE 82% APPROVAL HEALTH.

THERE IS 7.2% UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST.

YOU HAVE A RACE CARD.

YOU HAVE INAUGURAL PARTY LEFTOVERS.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

>EAT LEFTOVERS

>RETURN BUST

YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON DESK THERE IS NO BUST OF CHURCHILL. THERE ARE NO MORE LEFTOVERS. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

>GIVE SPEECH

YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOUR APPROVAL HEALTH IS 81%. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
The adventure goes on, and gives regular updates:
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOUR APPROVAL HEALTH IS 61%. UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST IS 8.3% THE FOREST PEASANTS ARE COMPLAINING. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

>DEMONIZE BANKS, DEMONIZE INSURANCE, BLAME BUSH

YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOUR APPROVAL HEALTH IS 61%. UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST IS 8.5% WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

>GIVE SPEECH

CONGRATULATIONS! YOUR SPEECH HAS WON NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
You'll have to read it all to see how it ends up but he manages to combine humor, a great deal of information, and a good capsule of how things have gone the last two years in case you've forgotten any of it.

3 Comments:

Anonymous eric said...

That was great! My dad worked for the telephone company when I was a kid and he had a green screen VT terminal at his house that was connected to the UNIX mainframe, and would let me sign on his account on the weekends and play Zork and Adventure on their mainframe... my first experience with computers and one I will always treasure.

Those were some great games, and about 7 or 8 years ago I discovered that there is still a pretty active community of "interactive fiction" writers putting out strong (and usually free) content. It's been awhile since I played any of them, but one of my favorites was a game called 'The Edifice".

You can check out some of their work here: http://ifdb.tads.org/

12:02 PM, October 18, 2010  
Anonymous Cylar said...

Had a lot of fun with ZORK back around 1986 or so, playing it on my Apple IIc.

Don't eat the clove of garlic, silly. You need it later in the adventure to disable a vampire bat.

1:49 AM, October 19, 2010  
Blogger Ed Skinner said...

XYZZY?

6:06 AM, October 19, 2010  

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