Ok, well it seems like there are three camps on this issue. 1. Don't classify
at all, it restrains authors. 2. Some moderate form of classification may be
useful, perhaps a suggestion type system. 3. Classify it all.
I am a stauch 2.5er, somewhere betwen moderate and full classification. I
understand that an author might not want work classified, and that there is
this fear that by classifying the games, creativity will be stymied. I'm not
sure exactly how that would happen. However, I think that if we look at those
people who are simply into playing IF instead of writing it, we may realize
that there are people who want a certain kind of game, and have no real way of
finding it. What are we to do for these people? Someone who is not a regular
on the newsgroups? Even someone who is, who doesn't want to wait a day or so
for someone to reply to their query?
This is also a personal interest thing, I would like to be able to go somewhere
and say, OK, I really like dungeon crawls, what can I play? What am I to do on
an idle Sat. afternoon? Write to the newsgroup and just wait for someone to
tell me? I hope not.
Just standing on the unpopular side,
fighting for the little guy,
Josh the Over dramatic
Play Deephome, an interactive exorcism and repair job.
That's the thing that Baf's Guide to the Interactive Fiction Archive
used to do quite well. He had a good portion of the IF archive quickly
rated and classified so you basically *could* say, "OK, I like Leon
Lin's games. Did he write any more?" Or, "I like games about college.
Which other ones are out there?"
Baf took his site down a while back and I don't know what the status
is on it returning. A mirror from like 1997 is floating around out
What rocked about Baf's site was not just the sheer amount of games it
had listed, but how it really was set up like a reference guide. If
you're looking for a suggestion as to a game to play sometimes you
don't want to know anything about it other than its relative quality
beforehand. Baf didn't seem to have any sort of agenda, bias, or axe
to grind. Tapestry was there right next to Pervo Quest.
The old link for the Guide is here:
You actually think that way?
I usually think, I would like to play something short. So I play comp
games (these days, usually after the comp is over and I can avoid the
low-scoring games) and games with tiny file sizes.
And I read r.(a/g).i.f for the other games everyone is talking about,
as well new releases by favorite authors. 
But I'd never think, gee, I want to play a dungeon crawl; or, gee, I
want to play a mystery game; or, gee, I want to play a mystery game. I
do think, gee, I'd like to play a good game. That "Hunter, In Darkness"
was a cave crawl had no bearing on why I decided to play it (or why I
it made me happy).
I don't go about reading books this way, either. I follow leads,
recommendations, preferred authors, friends and inspirations of
prefrered authors, etc. Same with music -- I don't think, "ooh, I'm in
the mood to buy a classical CD" or "My collection needs more
post-folk", I just get get a lead on, say, Mauricio Kagel, or Will
Oldham, and follow through.
Chris Piuma, etc.
 Especially Adam Cadre. Mmm, I do a little happy dance when I see
there's a new game by him. I'd be preordering his novel if I could
afford a hardcover. And not because of what genre it might fall under,
Yes, I actually do. And if I'm the only person out there who says "Gee, I'm
really in the mood for fantasy or sci-fi," I guess I'm wierd. But I doubt it.
>I don't go about reading books this way, either. I follow leads,
That is helpful sometimes, but I can not count the number of books that I have
read that no one has ever reccomended to me that I have read that I loved. And
I got them simply because they were in the genera I liked (and, to be honest,
they often had really nice cover art) including Dorsai, By Gorden R. Dickson,
The Wheel of Time series (when it first came out), and untold volumes of Celtic
lore and mythology.
>recommendations, preferred authors, friends and inspirations of
>prefrered authors, etc. Same with music -- I don't think, "ooh, I'm in
>the mood to buy a classical CD" or "My collection needs more
>post-folk", I just get get a lead on, say, Mauricio Kagel, or Will
>Oldham, and follow through.
Yet again I disagree, I also feel at times things like "I don't have enough
classical music, perhaps I should pick up some Wagner." Or, "I don't have any
techno, and I really do like techno on an odd afternoon, so maybe I should pick
some up," and it would be nice when I went to the music store if they had
Wagner in one place and techno in another.
P.S. And no offense to Adam Cadre, but if his novel was about 18th century
peasantry, or 18the century anything in fact, I wouldn't buy it, no matter how
I loved his previous work, unless it came VERY highly recommended. THere is a
certain kind of world some people like to immerse themselve in for enjoyment.
I have to immerse myself in the ancient middle east for about 15 hours a day
for my major, and I have to deal with the real world at all times too, so why
should it be wierd if I long for a faerey infested English vale fifteen hundred
I think that way too, sometimes. :) Other times I go for the reviews.
Let us take, as an example, Starwars. Starwars can be seen to have romance,
action, fantasy, sci-fi, (depending on what series) mystery, puzzles, and many
other aspects to it. I have previously advocated listing it in all catagories.
I would now suggest something modified.
My Suggestion: To classify a game such as Starwars: A New Hope (the first
movie that ever came out of SW) I would put it in all catagories pertaining,
but I would also rate the content of the game for QUANTITY not quality of this
genera. So, I would rate SW:ANH as follows:
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, romance, puzzle solving.
And then when you went to the Sci-Fi catagory, you would see, listed from most
Sci-Fi content to least as follows:
2001: A space Oddysee *****
Star Trek *****
Mystery Science Theater 3000 **
And if I looked up Fantasy:
The Hobbit *****
and so on. This way, when I look up Sci-Fi, I will find that if I want PURE
Sci-Fi I should go to 2001, if I want just a little, I could go to MST3K or
Photopia. A more nuanced version of this is probably most appropriate, but I
believe that this would settle the problem of someone looking for pure sci-fi
and getting a subtle or incidently Sci-Fi game.
Check it out and discuss.
Brendan B. B. (Bren...@aol.com)
(Name in header has spam-blocker, use the address above instead.)
"Do not follow where the path may lead;
go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail."
Perhaps the fact that you have neglected to give an URL might explain why you
have so few hits.
Just a thought.
Now, see, I know you've been to the page. I have a counter on there. I'm
dastardly like that. However, even though the page has had over 30 hits in its
first two hours of life, no one has commented on it.
Why? Are you thinking it over? Is it either so bad or so mediocre that you
have nothing to say? I would have thought that many people would have chewed
it up and spit it out by now. But they haven't.
Hmmm....what is going on?
Those who haven't, the site is:
It has been updated about four times since I put it up two-to three hours ago.
So if you went early on, it is more in depth now, and will be even more by the
end of the weekend.
Josh the bewildered and impatient
No! No! I haven't!
> Why? Are you thinking it over?
Yes! Leave me alone!
Actually, I just peeked at it. What struck me was a rating for Leather
Goddesses of Phobos having four or five stars and Photopia having one. I
was thinking "Hey, I thought Photopia was pretty good, why such a low
rating?" Then I realized that you were rating it for quantity of a
particular type of content than quality.
Which, I know, was sort of the point of the whole thing.
Maybe you should use a different scheme other than stars. Like "High",
"Moderate", "Low" and "Minimal" or something. If you plan to have game
ratings, you could do something like:
Leather Goddesses of Phobos
Rating: *** (Three stars)
Or something of that sort.
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
>Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
>Before you buy.
This is certainly something to think about. A star rating does seem to imply
quality instead of quantity, however, I am hesitant to actually rate games on
the site. As subjective as the classification thing already is, how good a
game is is ten thousand times moreso. I will consider this , however.
> This is certainly something to think about. A star rating does seem to imply
> quality instead of quantity, however, I am hesitant to actually rate games on
> the site. As subjective as the classification thing already is, how good a
> game is is ten thousand times moreso. I will consider this , however.
Maybe just use another character.
That would help, but probably only a little bit.
Leather Goddesses: @@@@
That still looks like a rating system to me. Using words that
communicate quantity rather than quality could help:
Leather Goddesses: Dense
Even that has potentially misleading connotations, but using actual
quantities of marks is just asking to get misunderstood. Even more
explicit descriptions might help.
Zork: Sci-Fi overtones
Leather Goddesses: sci-fi
Photpia: Minimal, mostly irrelevant, sci-fi
Putting the complete breakdown for a work might be good, too, so that
the browser gets the full picture.
Zork: Anachronistic fantasy with sci-fi overtones.
Leather Goddesses: Sci-fi sex romp.
Photopia: Drama with minimal sci-fi
Of course, standardizing these could be difficult. :-) But after you'd
done a couple hundred you'd probably be able to boil the categories
down to a handful.
> Just as a general comment on classification (handily combined with a plug
>for my website -- purely coincidental :-): I classified the links on my web
>page in a way which I think is pretty cool, and it incorporates the idea of
>"being in more than one category".
> But, hey, why not visit the site? So far, the hit counter remains in the
>single digits (niner, I think), and even if you're unimpressed with the link
>organization, you'll have helped a pathetic, starving web page to survive :-).
Congratulations - your hit counter has now zoomed up to 27! :-)
And, yes, I think your table is a useful way to present a list whose
items are classified into multiple categories. Good idea.
(Please remove erroneous word from address if emailing a reply)
This becomes hard to scan, though. If I know I'm looking for something with a
high Foo content, I want to be able to scan down the column.
I'm in favour of the first system, with explanatory blurb tagged on to every
I would presume that such a site would allow works to be listed by
quantity of Foo:
Feebie: Very High
Feyebie: Very High
> I'm in favour of the first system, with explanatory blurb tagged on to
It's definitely YMMV time. Some of us have to constantly remind
ourselves that we're *not* looking at ratings when we see stuff like
that, just because it's such a ubiquitous convention.
Any of the systems discussed would work for me, personally, as long as it
was explained well.
Ahhh...so, what does everyone think of this? I will continue to use the stars,
but I will put a link on every page saying someting to the effect "What are
these stars about?" OR I could simply put on each page "**Remember stars are
an indication of Quantity of a genera, not quality!!**"