“Likely to be eaten by a Grue” – the relevance of text games in the modern era

Heron, M. (2013) “Likely to be eaten by a Grue” – the relevance of text games in the modern era. Computer Games Journal, 2 (1). pp. 55-67.

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Spurred on by the success of Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo in crowd-sourcing funds for their newest projects, I look to reinvigorate interest in the humble text game. In this essay I argue that the text adventure is still a relevant gaming genre, and one with particularly high potential in several areas. Text games take on a wide variety of forms, and many currently popular social games are characterised by being primarily text-based in their interactions. However, despite the continuing interest in variations on the format, the classical expressions represented by interactive fiction and multiuser dungeons (MUDs) struggle to recruit and sustain player-bases. I argue that while text gaming is not yet a dead genre, it threatens to become so unless significant changes are made to how text games are perceived and developed. I argue that we should not be apologetic when we choose text as our primary medium of interaction. The best future potential comes from the classical expressions of text games evolving in line with modern design sensibilities to fill particular niches not well served by current gaming technologies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0075 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Computing
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Michael Heron
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 11:17
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:11
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/11646

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00