i’m running out of time i’m out of step and closing down and never sleep for wanting hours the empty hours of greed and uselessly always the need to feel again the real belief of something more than mockery”

Closedown. I think the quote from Mr. Smith says it all for me. This kind of interactive fiction closes me down. I feel mocked by the game, more than challenged, or even engaged. I put the 60 minutes exactly for each one and that was an unbelievable effort in itself. I did not like it and had absolutely no enjoyment in it. Either I was so discouraged by my hopeless performance and dead-ends (and therefore completely put-off by the whole exercise) or I am simply not wired for this kind of adventure. Every hour was an “empty hour of greed.” I was determined to find completion, an acceptable ending, and was driven by the greed for the closure. But in the end, all that was closed was me.

2 thoughts on “Closedown”

  1. You’re not the only one put off by interactive fiction. I’m curious to hear more, though, about which specific aspects of the game discouraged you. The narrative world? The puzzles? The problem finding the right vocabulary? There are many, many ways to “fail” at these games, and even when you know the genre, it’s possible to fail to fully complete one. So it helps to pinpoint what were your specific bottlenecks.

    1. Let’s see…

      I really liked the format of a “narrative world.” I enjoyed the fact that the player could “imagine” the world he was traveling in and through, unlike a video game which provided the game-maker’s conceptualization of the world. That aspect, in my opinion, spoke strongly for the game. Anytime when we are participating on some level in the creative process along with the creator is a positive experience.

      I didn’t mind the challenge of trying to solve the puzzle that each game presented, it was the frustration of not moving forward and feeling like I was stuck in a rut, much like a broken record – rehearsing the same motions over and over again and not getting anywhere. Each direction I walked in I literally “hit a wall.” There was a sense at that point that my mistake may have been 15 moves back and there was no way to “undo” it and make any progress. So the feeling of being trapped increased with every command I attempted, till I finally wanted to opt myself out of the whole thing.

      I consider myself a persistent person (“Never never never give up” – WC) but this felt like I was persevering against a mockery. There was no sense (for me at least) that my perseverance was paying off. For example, in “Shade” I fell out at the place where I knew I had to buy a stereo, but I had no idea how to. I kept turning the stove off and it kept telling me to turn the stove off…aaaaarrggggh.

      Maybe it comes down to the fact that in these games there are limited options on how to accomplish the goal? There is only one route to success? Or maybe it comes down to the fact that I don’t like to feel mocked and beaten 🙂

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