Art & Interactivity

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Lucian Paul Smith

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Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
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<cross-posted to raif>

Michael Gentry (edr...@concentric.net) wrote:
: (This is in response to Lucian Smith; for some reason my news reader didn't
: snag his post, so I had to scrape it off DejaNews...)

: >>>>>>>>>>
: But it is still possible to create coherent narrative even within the
: context of emergent complexity. This is what I was striving towards with
: my language puzzle in The Edifice.
: >>>>>>>>>>

: I think we might be using the term "narrative" in two different ways. I'm
: talking about the context of the story that the IF game is trying to tell.
: Your language puzzle is very effective at creating a scene in which two
: strangers attempt to communicate, but its complexity is subservient to the
: larger story that Edifice is attempting to tell.

I was, indeed, trying to just talk about that one scene, and not the
entirety of 'The Edifice'. But I still contend that 'a scene in which two
strangers attempt to communicate' counts as 'narrative'. I think the rest
of our conflict rests in some later assumptions you make,...

: Actually, let's talk about your language puzzle. I'm going to go out on a
: limb here and make an assumption about how you coded it, which may well be
: wrong -- but bear with me, because I'm constructing a hypothetical argument.
: (I'd love to hear how you *actually* coded it, but heaven forbid we should
: get off-topic. :-)

As it happens, I've written an article on this for XYZZY #16, "Parlez-vous
Nalian?", and have released source code for it as well, at

ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/programming/inform6/library/contributions/nalian.inf

: Let's assume that you created the puzzle by laying down a series of ground
: rules about grammar and word usage, and then generating a list of words that
: had certain properties which allowed them to be affected in various ways by
: these rules.

<snip>

: Now, barring bugs in the code, doesn't it stand to reason that someone
: familiar with 1) the rules of grammar and 2) the complete list of possible
: words and their properties could reasonably predict the outcome of any
: sentence that the player tried to type?

OK, you told me to bear with you in your hypothetical example, so, yeah,
had I coded Edifice like this, this would be true.

It is not, however, what I was talking about.

As it happens, I hard-coded in every last response Stranger can say. For
any given input, you will always get the same output. But what I meant
by 'emergent complexity' in this case was not the possible response to a
single line of input, but, rather, the *entire conversation* that resulted
from a series of inputs, based on the growing understanding of the player.

I would venture to say that no two people experienced the same
conversation with Stranger. Likewise, no two people's understanding of
Nalian grew in the same shape. This is borne out by the e-mails that I
got asking me for the definitions of words they didn't get: each person
had their own list, quite different from anyone else's.

So my point was not that I didn't know what would happen if the player
typed, "Stranger, Foo" five times in a row. I could tell you exactly what
would happen. What I *didn't* know was if the conversation was navigable.
I didn't know if there were many ways to arrive at an understanding
between the player and Stranger, or if there were only a few, or only one,
or none, or what.

In a highly condensed sense, this is exactly what happens for an author of
an entire game. Sure, they can tell you exactly what will happen to any
given input in a given set of conditions. What they *can't* tell you for
sure is whether that output will make any sense to the player, and whether
or not they'll be able to use that understanding to help them progress in
the game. There is no 'ideal transcript' for many games. The complexity
each player bring to the game, combined with the complexity of the rules
themselves, make for an unpredictable result--and an unpredictable
emergent narrative.

I'm wandering here, let me see if I can relate what I've been saying to
the rest of the conversation.

Way back when, you said:

----------
It bears mentioning that, insofar as every last detail, no matter how
insignificant-seeming, that exists within the world of a game must
necessarily have been deliberately coded there, line by weary line, by the
author, it is patently impossible to do *anything* that the author didn't
foresee.
----------

In 'The Edifice', I deliberately coded in line after weary line of code,
and it was patently impossible to have a conversation that I *did* forsee.
Every last player of my game 'pushed the author's boundaries'.

: See, I'm arguing that, if the result is *completely* unknown to the author,
: then the odds are astronomically against it adding to the game in a good
: way.

The result of a single line of input? Yes, generally, I agree with you.
The resulting narrative that emerges from a series of input? I disagree
again.

: >>>>>>>>>>
: I think you've missed the point of the example.
: >>>>>>>>>>

: And here I thought I was being ironic. Yes, the point of the example was
: that the player was very, very clever. *My* point was that the result was to
: the detriment of the game.

No, the point of the example (in my mind, at least) was not about the
cleverness of the player. The point was that the player's understanding
of the situation led them to behave in a manner that the author didn't
anticipate. The fact that the actual command they used was also not
anticipated served to emphasize the point.

I admit it wasn't a stellar example. I think we saw it from two different
angles, too, which didn't help. For me, it was a bug that pointed towards
the possibility of something greater. For you, obviously, it was just a
bug.

<snip Ultima example>

: The reason why it doesn't work is because it takes me out of playing the
: game and puts me into just playing the numbers -- trying to second-guess all
: the inner gears and workings that are supposed to be going on invisibly
: behind the scenes.

Again, I think you're focusing on the 'bug' aspect of the example, and not
on the potential it points to.

So, let me try to come up with a better example. The conversation in
Edifice is pretty good--let me try to talk about your game 'Anchorhead'
now.

<mild spoilers ahead>

On day 3, I think it was, you've discovered a bunch of horrible things
about the situation you're in, and, more specifically, about things that
are happening to your husband. He was gone for most of day 2 when you
were discovering these things, but he's back again in the morning, and, if
you pester him trying to tell him about all the stuff you've discovered,
he gets annoyed and storms out of the house.

I think it's fair to say, from reading some of your posts, that this was
supposed to indicate to the player that they shouldn't pester Michael so
much, and focus on other things. For me, though, this scene really worked
especially well *as narrative*--I thought it was a wonderful way of
working within the limits of IF to produce believable behaviour for both
the main character and for Michael.

Could you have told me what would happen if I entered ">PESTER MICHAEL. G.
G. G. G." ? Yes. Could you have told me what it would mean to me? No.

: Which is why I don't think it's a situation to be striven for, and why I
: classify such a situation as a bug to be eliminated. Interactive fiction
: works much better when its component elements are crafted with deliberate
: purpose and context in mind.

The player will always be unexpected. It's part of the charm of IF. As
an author, you can either try to work with that force, try to subvert it,
or try to quash it. I think the first two options make for a more
enjoyable playing experience for the player.

-Lucian


Michael Gentry

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Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
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Lucian Paul Smith wrote in message <74jkk4$63b$1...@joe.rice.edu>...
><cross-posted to raif>

>I was, indeed, trying to just talk about that one scene, and not the
>entirety of 'The Edifice'. But I still contend that 'a scene in which two
>strangers attempt to communicate' counts as 'narrative'. I think the rest
>of our conflict rests in some later assumptions you make,...


Hmm. I still think we're not talking about the same thing; I also think I
did a poor job of explaining myself the first time around. Let me try again.

The subjective narrative that the player projects onto the game as a result
of how it affects him/her is not the same thing as the narrative that the
author designed as a structure for the game as a whole. I agree with you
that the former sort of narrative is an important and enjoyable part of the
game, and that it is largely unpredictable by the author. However, it is not
the narrative that I was talking about.

Indeed, the language puzzle does create a narrative of sorts. We could call
this narrative "Two Strangers Attempting To Communicate", and its course
would largely be steered by the player. Although there are ultimate limits
set by the author (you can never, for example, effectively communicate to
the Stranger that you would like him to go get you some frozen yogurt), what
the player puts in and what the player gets out is pretty much up to the
player. However, in the context of the larger narrative of which the
language puzzle is a part, the scene has a well-defined purpose that you,
the author, have created for it. This is the narrative of "Finding A Way To
Communicate With A Stranger In Order To Obtain A Fever Leaf For Your Ailing
Son." Or, to step back a bit further, "Curing Your Ailing Son In Order To
Pass The Second Of A Series Of Tests Placed Before You By Unknown Powers For
The Purpose Of Illustrating Man's Progress Through The Ages." These are the
narratives that you, Lucian Paul Smith, have mapped out deliberately, and
the player can do little (or, more accurately, nothing) to alter their
direction, regardless whatever subjective feeling he/she gets from solving
puzzles in one or the other particular order.

>In 'The Edifice', I deliberately coded in line after weary line of code,
>and it was patently impossible to have a conversation that I *did* forsee.
>Every last player of my game 'pushed the author's boundaries'.


1)
PLAYER: I finished your game "Edifice", and to do so I had to attempt to
communicate with a Stranger to make him give me a Fever Leaf.
LUCAIN: I could have predicted that. I designed the game so that the
language puzzle was an essential scene within the overall narrative of
proceeding up the tower.

2)
PLAYER: I finished your game "Edifice." During the language puzzle, I said
"Foo" to the Stranger, and he replied "Bar." Then I said "Foo Bar," and the
Stranger said "Walla Walla Bing Bang." Then I said "Stranger, go get me some
frozen yogurt," and the Stranger just scratched his head.
LUCIAN (consulting his code): Although I could not have predicted the
precise order in which you typed those sentences, they all correspond to the
responses that I deliberately and painstakingly coded in. On a line-by-line
basis, your conversation went precisely as I would have expected it to.

3)
PLAYER: I finished your game "Edifice." During the language puzzle, I was
struck with the profound sense that I was really struggling to communicate
with an intelligent being. When I finally made it clear to him that I had a
son, and he proudly pointed to his own son, I felt a connection that only
two proud fathers could share. When my repeated attempts to describe a Fever
Leaf consistently failed, my frustration was so great that I felt myself
getting angry at this character -- how could he not understand me when my
son is dying?! And when I finally struck upon the idea of drawing it for
him, and he gave it to me freely, the sense of bonding when he became no
longer Stranger but Friend touched me deeply. What a great game. Thanks for
writing it.
LUCIAN: I could not predict the particular course that your conversation
took, and I certainly could not have predicted the feelings you experienced
while playing the game. But I did write it hoping to evoke feelings in my
characters, and I scripted that puzzle hoping to give players the sense that
they were really communicating with someone. By making the options available
in that scene as broad and numerous as possible, and by making a real effort
to take into account as many possible responses as I could remotely
conceive, I hoped to ensure that each player's experience would be
enjoyable, interactive, and unique. You're welcome.

QUESTION:
In which of these three examples is the player "stretching the author's
boundaries"?

MY ANSWER:
None. The player is stretching his/her *own* boundaries with the help of a
situation that was very carefully and skillfully defined by the author.

>I admit it wasn't a stellar example. I think we saw it from two different
>angles, too, which didn't help. For me, it was a bug that pointed towards
>the possibility of something greater. For you, obviously, it was just a
>bug.


See, my complaint is: *what* something greater? Do you mean: a greater
awareness of the possibilities of emergent complexity making each player's
experience unique and interactive? That's wonderful. I agree with you
whole-heartedly. Go and deliberately craft a game with those ideas in mind.
Meanwhile, fix the bug you've got in this one.

>I think it's fair to say, from reading some of your posts, that this was
>supposed to indicate to the player that they shouldn't pester Michael so
>much, and focus on other things. For me, though, this scene really worked
>especially well *as narrative*--I thought it was a wonderful way of
>working within the limits of IF to produce believable behaviour for both
>the main character and for Michael.


You are right -- it did work well as narrative. It was meant to -- that is,
I, the author, meant it to. It also made the game unsolvable, but that was a
design flaw (not a bug -- a decision that I later regretted and have now
rectified). That you received an emotional punch from it is excellent --
that's the subjective narrative that you project onto the scene. But your
emotional punch has no material effect on the *objective* narrative -- the
actual course of the story of the game. As the author, I decide which
actions of yours have a material effect on the course of the game, and hope
that the way I stage those choices provides an emotional punch. Anchorhead
is designed to do two things: keep Michael stomping irritably around if you
refrain from pestering him, or send him packing if you don't. How that fits
into your subjective narrative is up to you.

:It bears mentioning that, insofar as every last detail, no matter how


:insignificant-seeming, that exists within the world of a game must
:necessarily have been deliberately coded there, line by weary line, by the
:author, it is patently impossible to do *anything* that the author didn't
:foresee.

I did not mean to say that I can predict the precise emotional effect my
game will have on the player. I wrote that because, at the time, people
seemed to be saying that the player should be able to alter the author's
narrative--the direction of the game itself -- *without the author's
knowledge or cooperation*. This is absurd. You, however, seem to be saying
something different: that a complexly interactive game can provide a
subjective playing experience that is unique and not predictable by the
author. I could hardly argue otherwise.

I'm not trying to squash the player. I'm simply arguing that the player
cannot move outside the author's boundaries, because the game *is* the
author's boundaries.

-M.
================================================
"If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Michael Gentry

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Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
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Andrew Plotkin wrote in message ...
[a thoughtful refutation]

What you say makes sense.

But also:

>(deliberately, of course)
^^^^^^^^^^^

Ba-bing.

Andrew Plotkin

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
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Michael Gentry (edr...@concentric.net) wrote:

> Indeed, the language puzzle does create a narrative of sorts. We could call
> this narrative "Two Strangers Attempting To Communicate", and its course
> would largely be steered by the player. Although there are ultimate limits
> set by the author (you can never, for example, effectively communicate to
> the Stranger that you would like him to go get you some frozen yogurt), what
> the player puts in and what the player gets out is pretty much up to the
> player. However, in the context of the larger narrative of which the
> language puzzle is a part, the scene has a well-defined purpose that you,
> the author, have created for it. This is the narrative of "Finding A Way To
> Communicate With A Stranger In Order To Obtain A Fever Leaf For Your Ailing
> Son." Or, to step back a bit further, "Curing Your Ailing Son In Order To
> Pass The Second Of A Series Of Tests Placed Before You By Unknown Powers For
> The Purpose Of Illustrating Man's Progress Through The Ages." These are the
> narratives that you, Lucian Paul Smith, have mapped out deliberately, and
> the player can do little (or, more accurately, nothing) to alter their
> direction, regardless whatever subjective feeling he/she gets from solving
> puzzles in one or the other particular order.

[big snip, because I don't want to qutoe too much, but Michael explains
what he means in detail]

> I did not mean to say that I can predict the precise emotional effect my
> game will have on the player. I wrote that because, at the time, people
> seemed to be saying that the player should be able to alter the author's
> narrative--the direction of the game itself -- *without the author's
> knowledge or cooperation*. This is absurd. You, however, seem to be saying
> something different: that a complexly interactive game can provide a
> subjective playing experience that is unique and not predictable by the
> author. I could hardly argue otherwise.
>
> I'm not trying to squash the player. I'm simply arguing that the player
> cannot move outside the author's boundaries, because the game *is* the
> author's boundaries.

Hrm.

I would like to push forth _So Far_, then, because I can attest that the
very question of what the narrative *was* got stretched there. People saw
all sorts of narratives there, because what I mapped out was open-ended
(deliberately, of course). People said stuff about my game that surprised
me.

This is not because the structure of the game was unusual; everything that
happened was as pre-programmed as in "Edifice" and _Anchorhead_. However,
this objective narrative is not *the* game, with subjective stuff added
post-scriptum by the player. (Which is how you seem to be looking at
things.) Is "the direction of the game" really entirely a function of the
objective events of the plot? I've certainly tried to write games where
the subjective stuff, the stuff in the player's head, is *more important*
than an objective list of events.

"What happened" is never completely objective.

And I like the idea of this stuff growing out of the merely-programmed
stuff -- emergently, as LPS says. Becoming interactive, or engaging, or
meaningful, not because the *program* is creative (which it isn't) but
because the *player* brings the creativity to the party. This is tricky,
of course. You don't want to make the player feel like he's carrying the
load, even though in essence this is exactly what's happening. :-)

And now, of course, I'm in the position I hate most -- saying what a game
*could* do, instead of sitting down and writing one to demonstrate it.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Daryl McCullough

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
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erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) says...

>I would like to push forth _So Far_, then, because I can attest that the
>very question of what the narrative *was* got stretched there. People saw
>all sorts of narratives there, because what I mapped out was open-ended
>(deliberately, of course). People said stuff about my game that surprised
>me.

>This is not because the structure of the game was unusual; everything that
>happened was as pre-programmed as in "Edifice" and _Anchorhead_.

I think that maybe the difference is that, in _So Far_
the action affects only the player. In a sense, this is
always true, but some games offer the illusion
that the player is setting things into motion that
change the world of the game: The evil monster is slain,
the princess is freed, the murderers are brought to
justice.

Anyway, if events only affect the player, then the
player is free to create his/her own narrative to
glue the events together. On the other hand, if
the events affect the "world" at large, it seems
necessary for the game author to figure out in
advance what the possible narratives might be.
That's because other residents of the game world
will react to the events, as well, and (without
true AI) it isn't possible to make NPCs behave
sensibly without a small collection of fixed
stories to fit their behavior into.

(a grammatical point: do the names of IF games get put
into double-quotes, or underlined? Is it "Edifice" or
_Edifice_? My eighth-grade English teacher didn't tell
me.)

Daryl McCullough
CoGenTex, Inc.
Ithaca, NY

Andrew Plotkin

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
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Daryl McCullough (da...@cogentex.com) wrote:

> Anyway, if events only affect the player, then the
> player is free to create his/her own narrative to
> glue the events together. On the other hand, if
> the events affect the "world" at large, it seems
> necessary for the game author to figure out in
> advance what the possible narratives might be.
> That's because other residents of the game world
> will react to the events, as well, and (without
> true AI) it isn't possible to make NPCs behave
> sensibly without a small collection of fixed
> stories to fit their behavior into.

I ain't convinced. I think there's a much wider range of ways to put
together a world (including its residents).

> (a grammatical point: do the names of IF games get put
> into double-quotes, or underlined? Is it "Edifice" or
> _Edifice_? My eighth-grade English teacher didn't tell
> me.)

Short story titles are in quotes; novel titles are underlined.

Call it my bit of evangelizing for the "IF is literature" camp.

Lelah Conrad

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Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
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On Wed, 9 Dec 1998 17:09:47 GMT, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
wrote:


>
>Short story titles are in quotes; novel titles are underlined.

Er, um, so it's "Photopia", but _Once and Future_?

Lelah :)

Carl and/or Karen Klutzke

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Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
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On Thu, 10 Dec 1998 00:25:42 GMT, l...@nu-world.com (Lelah Conrad)
wrote:

More precisely, as I understand it, a standalone work, such as a novel
or movie, is underlined. Something which is part of a larger work,
such as a compilation, is put into quotes. Therefore, short stories
and poems are typically put in quotes, since they are rarely published
individually. Probably an epic poem such as _The_Odyssey_ should be
underlined.

If you consider the games in the competition to all be part of the
competition itself as a larger body of work, then they go in quotes.
If you consider them as standalone works, they are underlined. I
guess.

Carl


Phil Goetz

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Dec 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/19/98
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In article <74m76l$m...@edrn.newsguy.com>,

Daryl McCullough <da...@cogentex.com> wrote:
>(a grammatical point: do the names of IF games get put
>into double-quotes, or underlined? Is it "Edifice" or
>_Edifice_? My eighth-grade English teacher didn't tell
>me.)
>
>Daryl McCullough
>CoGenTex, Inc.
>Ithaca, NY

Short stories go in quotes, and novels are underlined (italicized).
Choosing one or the other for all of IF would indicate it was less broad
a category than fiction. So I say, put short IFs in quotes and long IFs
in italics.

Phil go...@zoesis.com

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
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erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

> And now, of course, I'm in the position I hate most -- saying what a game
> *could* do, instead of sitting down and writing one to demonstrate it.

Uh, don't let us keep you from writing a game.


- jonadab

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
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l...@nu-world.com (Lelah Conrad) wrote:

> >Short story titles are in quotes; novel titles are underlined.
>
>
> Er, um, so it's "Photopia", but _Once and Future_?

It's definitely "Photopia". I haven't played _Once and Future_.

It should be noted that the line will be blurry, as it
is with more traditional literature.


- jonadab

Magnus Olsson

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
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In article <75fvgu$28t$1...@prometheus.acsu.buffalo.edu>,

Phil Goetz <go...@cse.buffalo.edu> wrote:
>In article <74m76l$m...@edrn.newsguy.com>,
>Daryl McCullough <da...@cogentex.com> wrote:
>>(a grammatical point: do the names of IF games get put
>>into double-quotes, or underlined? Is it "Edifice" or
>>_Edifice_? My eighth-grade English teacher didn't tell
>>me.)
>
>Short stories go in quotes, and novels are underlined (italicized).

Is this a general rule? I'm not doubting your word, I've just never
heard of it.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------

Andrew Plotkin

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
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Magnus Olsson (m...@bartlet.df.lth.se) wrote:
> In article <75fvgu$28t$1...@prometheus.acsu.buffalo.edu>,
> Phil Goetz <go...@cse.buffalo.edu> wrote:
> >In article <74m76l$m...@edrn.newsguy.com>,
> >Daryl McCullough <da...@cogentex.com> wrote:
> >>(a grammatical point: do the names of IF games get put
> >>into double-quotes, or underlined? Is it "Edifice" or
> >>_Edifice_? My eighth-grade English teacher didn't tell
> >>me.)
> >
> >Short stories go in quotes, and novels are underlined (italicized).

> Is this a general rule? I'm not doubting your word, I've just never
> heard of it.

It was taught as a general rule in my (American) classes. Dunno how the
rest of the world regards our Yankee linguistic imperialism.

Lelah Conrad

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
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On Wed, 23 Dec 1998 15:02:41 GMT, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
wrote:

>Magnus Olsson (m...@bartlet.df.lth.se) wrote:


>> In article <75fvgu$28t$1...@prometheus.acsu.buffalo.edu>,
>> Phil Goetz <go...@cse.buffalo.edu> wrote:
>> >In article <74m76l$m...@edrn.newsguy.com>,
>> >Daryl McCullough <da...@cogentex.com> wrote:
>> >>(a grammatical point: do the names of IF games get put
>> >>into double-quotes, or underlined? Is it "Edifice" or
>> >>_Edifice_? My eighth-grade English teacher didn't tell
>> >>me.)
>> >
>> >Short stories go in quotes, and novels are underlined (italicized).
>
>> Is this a general rule? I'm not doubting your word, I've just never
>> heard of it.
>
>It was taught as a general rule in my (American) classes. Dunno how the
>rest of the world regards our Yankee linguistic imperialism.

Some of this stuff stems from the need for style manuals for people
who write books and papers, and for those who catalog, index, and
store them. The English-speaking countries have reached agreements
about this stuff.

But you don't want to know the full extent of the pickiness... :)

Lelah

e.g. Chicago Manual of Style
APA Style Manual
Anglo-American Cataloging Rules 2nd.

etc. etc. etc.

TenthStone

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Dec 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/25/98
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Lelah Conrad thus inscribed this day of Wed, 23 Dec 1998 16:44:44 GMT:

Fine, sinec you insist so heavily, I'll pull out my copy of _Writing
Research Papers_. Modern Language Association:

"Italicize or underscore the titles of the following types of works:

"Type of Work
aircraft
ballet
book
bulletin
drama
film
journal
magazine
newspaper
novel
opera
painting
pamphlet
periodical
poem
radio show
recording
sculpture
ship
short novel
symphony
television
yearbook

"In contrast, place quotation marks around the titles of articles, essays,
chapters, sections, short poems, stories, songs, lectures, sermons,
reports, and individual episodes of television programs.

"If seperately published, underscore titles of essays, lectures, poems,
proceedings, reports, sermons, and stories. However, these items are
usually published as part of an anthology (for example, a compilation
of sermons or a collection of stories), in which case you would underscore
the title of the anthology.

"Do not underscore the titles of sacred writings ...; series ..., editions
..., societies ..., courses ..., divisions of a work ..., or descriptive
phrases ...." (1996 edition, 238-9)

It is presumably identical in APA.

Note that the chief criterion is whether the work stands alone;
therefore, I suggest that -- according to the MLA -- an underscoring or
italicizing is correct. I would count IF Competition entries as
"seperately published."

The problem with the use of quotation marks is that they seem to imply
a larger, encompassing work, the title whereof may be underscored. In the
case of IF, this clearly does not fit.

Personally, however, quotes seem more appropriate; I never did agree
with the MLA guidelines.

-----------

The imperturbable TenthStone
tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@erols.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

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