[IfComp97] Bugged games? Plus: Cry for Help!

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Richard Stamp

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Oct 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/13/97
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In article <61ti6c$1kes$1...@alijku04.edvz.uni-linz.ac.at>,
Gunther Schmidl <sot...@xxx.usa.net> wrote:
>
>I wasn't even able to get started in Tempest (by G. Nelson? Seems so...)

After the Sherbet experience, I suggest "Spot the Graham Nelson Game"
as an amusing contest sideline. Though my bet is that there isn't one.

Richard
(also lost at sea in Tempest, I'm afraid)

Kenneth Fair

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Oct 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/13/97
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In article <61tkmk$cus$1...@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>, rg...@cam.ac.uk (Richard
Stamp) wrote:

(Same here. I can't unbatten the hatches, or do anything put pour the
oil on the deck of the ship. Maybe I need to get a copy of the play.)

I don't think GN has an entry this year. I quickly flipped through the
entries to see if I could spot his work, but the entries were either by
someone I knew to be not Graham, or else obviously not his work.

Of course, that could just be his fiendish ploy . . .

--
KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | <http://student-www.uchicago.edu/users/kjfair>
Of Counsel, U. of Ediacara | Power Mac! | CABAL(tm) | I'm w/in McQ - R U?
"Isn't it amazing with all of the post presented by creationist in these
newsgroups were wrong 100% of the time?" - ks...@fast.net

Stephen Robert Norris

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Oct 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/13/97
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In article <61ti6c$1kes$1...@alijku04.edvz.uni-linz.ac.at>,
"Gunther Schmidl" <sot...@xxx.usa.net> intoned:
> There seem to be a lot of games out there that don't seem to be
> finishable -- even with their own walkthroughs -- and/or bugged:
>
> Pintown crashes on me, as does A Bear's Night Out. The latter was lucky as
> the two hours were not up, and I played with another interpreter, but
> Pintown... well, not my problem.
>
> Zombie!, Temple of the Orc Mage, A Good Breakfast -- all these I could not
> win even with the included walkthroughs (which all seem to be wrong).

>
> I wasn't even able to get started in Tempest (by G. Nelson? Seems so...)
>
> Also, I wasn't able to finish Zero Sum Game...

I didn't manage to finish "Temple of the Orc Mage" either - I got to the
end bit, and then couldn't figure it out, looked at the walkthrough, and
discovered it didn't work. It's two hours were just about up, so I fiddled
for a bit longer and then rated it.

I couldn't get anywhere much in the Tempest, either - just to the ship.
Bears Night Out crashed, and I only have one interpreter.

This raises a question - how much can we discuss Comp97 games in raif?

Stephen

Gunther Schmidl

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Oct 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/13/97
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There seem to be a lot of games out there that don't seem to be
finishable -- even with their own walkthroughs -- and/or bugged:

Pintown crashes on me, as does A Bear's Night Out. The latter was lucky as
the two hours were not up, and I played with another interpreter, but
Pintown... well, not my problem.

Zombie!, Temple of the Orc Mage, A Good Breakfast -- all these I could not
win even with the included walkthroughs (which all seem to be wrong).

I wasn't even able to get started in Tempest (by G. Nelson? Seems so...)

Also, I wasn't able to finish Zero Sum Game...

.
.
.
.
.
SPOILER
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
What about the Recombubulation spell? What must I cast it on, Chippy? The
Troll? Help!

--
+------------------------+----------------------------------------------+
+ Gunther Schmidl + "I couldn't help it. I can resist everything +
+ Ferd.-Markl-Str. 39/16 + except temptation" -- Oscar Wilde +
+ A-4040 LINZ +----------------------------------------------+
+ Tel: 0732 25 28 57 + http://oberon.home.ml.org - german homepage! +
+------------------------+---+------------------------------------------+
+ sothoth (at) usa (dot) net + please remove the "xxx." before replying +
+----------------------------+------------------------------------------+

FemaleDeer

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Oct 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/13/97
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>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Bugged games? Plus: Cry for Help!
>From: s...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au (Stephen Robert Norris)
>Date: Mon, Oct 13, 1997 17:11

>This raises a question - how much can we discuss Comp97 games in raif?
>
> Stephen

I think we aren't supposed to at all - so not we won't influence each other's
votes. But maybe bug reports (compliants) are different, I don't really know.
I wonder too.

FD


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Femal...@aol.com The Tame Computer
"Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or
freed a human soul." Mark Twain (or won a game)

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/14/97
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FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:

> >This raises a question - how much can we discuss Comp97 games in raif?

> I think we aren't supposed to at all - so not we won't influence each other's


> votes. But maybe bug reports (compliants) are different, I don't really know.
> I wonder too.

There's no mandatory rule. Last year there was a general agreement not to
discuss the entries until the voting was over.

That's going to be a long time, this year -- the voting runs until New
Year's, unless I misread the rules. So I'm not going to hold back; *but*,
I'm not going to discuss *any* of the entries until I've played *all* of
them, and sent in my final votes. Then I'll be posting with
"[comp97-spoilers]" in the subject line. And I'll avoid reading such posts
until I've played all the entries.

Bug reports are a little different. If it's a bug that prevents you from
winning, and there's a way to avoid it -- say, by using a particular
interpreter -- then it may be worth posting about, so that other people
can work around the bug.

(If you find a non-critical bug, of course, it's better to email the
author privately.)

--Z


--

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

Stuart Adair

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Oct 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/14/97
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In article <61ti6c$1kes$1...@alijku04.edvz.uni-linz.ac.at>, sot...@xxx.usa.net
says...

>
>There seem to be a lot of games out there that don't seem to be
>finishable -- even with their own walkthroughs -- and/or bugged:
>
>Pintown crashes on me, as does A Bear's Night Out. The latter was lucky as
>the two hours were not up, and I played with another interpreter, but
>Pintown... well, not my problem.
>
>Zombie!, Temple of the Orc Mage, A Good Breakfast -- all these I could not
>win even with the included walkthroughs (which all seem to be wrong).

As the author of AGB, I've received a number of emails about its apparent
bugginess. I'm afraid that there isn't a lot I can do at the moment, as I don't
actually have access to a computer of my own. Hopefully I'll be able to
'borrow' a friend's and try and get the source emailed to me from home. It
should be a simple fix, it's just actually doing it that's causing problems.

I'd also like to apologise to my beta-testers, as I feel that I've let them
down by realising a buggy game. This bug was not present in any of the versions
sent to them, so it isn't their fault.

As for the walkthrough, it should be accurate -- it's taken from a transcript
(with a couple of bits snipped) -- and for the record, my interpreter of choice
is WinFrotz (although I've had reports that it doesn't work on that either).

Stuart


Dylan O'Donnell

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:
>
>> >This raises a question - how much can we discuss Comp97 games in raif?
>
>> I think we aren't supposed to at all - so not we won't influence each
>> other's votes. But maybe bug reports (compliants) are different, I
>> don't really know.
>> I wonder too.
>
>There's no mandatory rule. Last year there was a general agreement not to

The way I interpret the rules, competition _authors_ are disbarred from
discussing the entries on Usenet; anyone else (ie, everyone eligible to
vote) is free to do so. Whizzard?

Another rules query. Is "The Tempest" in breach of rule 2 (the one
requiring each entry to be original to the author)? I _like_ it (though
I'm only about halfway through the play), but I'm uneasy about giving
it a high vote when it seems to have broken one of the competition
rules.

--
: Dylan O'Donnell : "This particularly rapid, unintelligible :
: Southend Slave Deck, : patter / Isn't generally heard, and :
: Demon Internet Ltd : if it is it doesn't matter!" :
: http://www.fysh.org/~psmith/ : -- W.S. Gilbert, "Ruddigore" :

Magnus Olsson

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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In article <621m4h$ps3$1...@crucigera.fysh.org>,

Dylan O'Donnell <psm...@fysh.org> wrote:
>Another rules query. Is "The Tempest" in breach of rule 2 (the one
>requiring each entry to be original to the author)? I _like_ it (though
>I'm only about halfway through the play), but I'm uneasy about giving
>it a high vote when it seems to have broken one of the competition
>rules.

The following is just my personal opinion, nothing else:

You should not let such considerations enter your scoring. The game
doesn't become less good if it violates the rules (not that I'm saying
it does, this is a hypothetical case).

If a game breaks the rules, it should IMO be disqualified, not punished
with low scores.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------
Not officially connected to LU or LTH.

FemaleDeer

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Bugged games? Plus: Cry for Help!
>From: psm...@fysh.org (Dylan O'Donnell)
>Date: Wed, Oct 15, 1997 01:59 EDT

>Tempest" in breach of rule 2 (the one
>requiring each entry to be original to the author)? I _like_ it (though
>I'm only about halfway through the play), but I'm uneasy about giving
>it a high vote when it seems to have broken one of the competition
>rules.

Give. How on earth can you be 1/2 way through? I never could unbatten the
hatches so I gave up.

So?

Paul O'Brian

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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On 15 Oct 1997, Matthew Crosby wrote:

> In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,
> Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
> >

> >That's going to be a long time, this year -- the voting runs until New
> >Year's, unless I misread the rules. So I'm not going to hold back; *but*,
> >I'm not going to discuss *any* of the entries until I've played *all* of
> >them, and sent in my final votes. Then I'll be posting with
> >"[comp97-spoilers]" in the subject line. And I'll avoid reading such posts
> >until I've played all the entries.
> >

> How about we set up a mailing list, say comp97-discuss and make it a
> prerequisite that those subscribing
> a) Have played all the games
> and b) have sent in their final votes and agree not to change them.

I like this idea a lot, but if it happens I'd hope that someone archives
the posts to the mailing list. I'd be disappointed to miss out on
someone's insightful reviews just because they happened to finish the
games earlier than I did. Of course, I suppose I could just subscribe and
save all the messages unread until I finish all the games...

Are there so many people that are going to finish all those games a long
time before Dec. 31? They must have a lot more spare time on their hands
than I do!

Paul O'Brian obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu
"I think it's important to remember that no one falls into a simple set of
labels. Even more important is to learn from your mistakes, and to fight
for the positive choice." -- Lindsey Buckingham


Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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Paul O'Brian (obr...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU) wrote:
> On 15 Oct 1997, Matthew Crosby wrote:

> > How about we set up a mailing list, say comp97-discuss
>

> I like this idea a lot, but if it happens I'd hope that someone archives
> the posts to the mailing list.

My storage constraints are such that I really can't afford to subscribe
to another mailing list.

> Are there so many people that are going to finish all those games a long
> time before Dec. 31? They must have a lot more spare time on their hands
> than I do!

I've played seventeen of them. It helps to be unemployed. :)

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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Magnus Olsson (m...@bartlet.df.lth.se) wrote:

> >Another rules query. Is "The Tempest" in breach of rule 2 (the one


> >requiring each entry to be original to the author)? I _like_ it (though
> >I'm only about halfway through the play), but I'm uneasy about giving
> >it a high vote when it seems to have broken one of the competition
> >rules.

> The following is just my personal opinion, nothing else:

> You should not let such considerations enter your scoring. The game
> doesn't become less good if it violates the rules (not that I'm saying
> it does, this is a hypothetical case).

> If a game breaks the rules, it should IMO be disqualified, not punished
> with low scores.

I agree with this.

The administrator -- sorry to keep harping on this theme, but it keeps
things simple -- the administrator accepted "The Tempest" as an entry.
He's the one to withdraw it if he thinks the rules have been
violated. (Well, him or the anonymous author.)

Until that happens, we should assume it's a completely valid entry, and
vote on it the same way we vote on all the other entries.

Matthew Crosby

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Oct 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/15/97
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,
Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:
>
>> >This raises a question - how much can we discuss Comp97 games in raif?
>
>> I think we aren't supposed to at all - so not we won't influence each other's
>> votes. But maybe bug reports (compliants) are different, I don't really know.
>> I wonder too.
>
>There's no mandatory rule. Last year there was a general agreement not to
>discuss the entries until the voting was over.
>
>That's going to be a long time, this year -- the voting runs until New
>Year's, unless I misread the rules. So I'm not going to hold back; *but*,
>I'm not going to discuss *any* of the entries until I've played *all* of
>them, and sent in my final votes. Then I'll be posting with
>"[comp97-spoilers]" in the subject line. And I'll avoid reading such posts
>until I've played all the entries.
>
How about we set up a mailing list, say comp97-discuss and make it a
prerequisite that those subscribing
a) Have played all the games
and b) have sent in their final votes and agree not to change them.

That way we can discuss it to our hearts content.


--
Matthew Crosby cro...@cs.colorado.edu
Disclaimer: It was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.

Kenneth Fair

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Oct 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/16/97
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew
Plotkin) wrote:


As I understand it, the purpose of rule 2 was primarily to avoid copyright
infringement problems more than anything else, which of course isn't a
problem with Shakespeare, which is in the public domain.

--
KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | <http://student-www.uchicago.edu/users/kjfair>
Of Counsel, U. of Ediacara | Power Mac! | CABAL(tm) | I'm w/in McQ - R U?

"Any smoothly functioning technology will be
indistinguishable from a rigged demo." Isaac Asimov

Nick

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Oct 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/16/97
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On 15 Oct 1997, FemaleDeer wrote:
> >Tempest" in breach of rule 2 (the one
> >requiring each entry to be original to the author)? I _like_ it (though
> >I'm only about halfway through the play), but I'm uneasy about giving
> >it a high vote when it seems to have broken one of the competition
> >rules.
> Give. How on earth can you be 1/2 way through? I never could unbatten the
> hatches so I gave up.
> So?
> FD
I too am stuck early on in what seems a promising game.
Spoiler space

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I go north, blow ship, open hatches, enter hatches.
I can't do anything with the phial, I have tried various ways to put the
crew to sleep but can't.
Any help please?
Nick


Stephen Robert Norris

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Oct 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/16/97
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dcorn...@placet.com

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Oct 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/16/97
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Without commenting on whether Tempest is a good game, I'd say that the
rule should be based on legal issues (copying Infocom characters or
ideas), but at the same time, The Tempest loses value inherently because
anyone can open up a classic and create a beautiful game.

The contest should accept only wholly original works, allowing for minor
and occasional usage of classical fiction. In other words, using a
portion of The Tempest for a puzzle would be considered genuinely
original (if it meshed with the context of the story), while COPYING The
Tempest entirely or basing your game on The Tempest implies a lack of
effort on the story itself.

I would say that this lacks a good faith effort on the part of the author
to create something new, which I thought was the point of the contest.

I love the Infocom games and I love Shakespeare. The Tempest "may" be a
beautiful game. But without the man to write the story originally, where
does the game's author stand?

He stands on a ship made of someone else's varnish and sweat.

My opinion. I DO have a game in the contest and maybe I'm not supposed to
comment on these things...so be it. My game is not the issue. I know
where I stand in the contest because I've played several of the other
games. But I had to speak out about this.

A final note. If people want to copy ideas from famous works....please
feel free to do so. You add to the value of interactive fiction. But
don't have the audacity to enter it into a contest of original works.

David Cornelson

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Post to Usenet

FemaleDeer

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Oct 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/16/97
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>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Bugged games? Plus: Cry for Help!
>From: erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
>Date: Mon, Oct 13, 1997 20:54 EDT

>That's going to be a long time, this year -- the voting runs >until New
Year's, unless I misread the rules. So I'm not >going to hold back; *but*, I'm
not going to discuss *any* of >the entries until I've played *all* of them,
and sent in my final >votes. Then I'll be posting with "[comp97-spoilers]" in
the >subject line. And I'll avoid reading such posts
>until I've played all the entries.

>-Z

Taking my cue from Andrew (Mr. Plotkin), I am going to do the same. I will post
my own reviews in raif when I am done with all the games. I think three months
is a long time for authors to wait to get some feedback (when I was still an
entrant, this bothered me a lot.)

Then I will retreat for a month or two (well, maybe a week or three) until the
flames die down. Or maybe I will never be able to show my face in raif again.
Hmmm, screen name change time?

FD :-)

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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Mikko P Vuorinen (mvuo...@cc.helsinki.fi) wrote:

> But shouldn't everyone have a paperback copy of Shakespeare's complete
> works?

I would, for the sake of argument, agree that everyone *should*...

Stephen Granade

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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On Thu, 16 Oct 1997 dcorn...@placet.com wrote:

> Without commenting on whether Tempest is a good game, I'd say that the
> rule should be based on legal issues (copying Infocom characters or
> ideas), but at the same time, The Tempest loses value inherently because
> anyone can open up a classic and create a beautiful game.

I completely disagree. I think anyone can open up a classic and create a
horrible hash of the original. "Translating" a work such as "The Tempest"
to IF is no small undertaking.

> The contest should accept only wholly original works, allowing for minor
> and occasional usage of classical fiction.

[snip]

> A final note. If people want to copy ideas from famous works....please
> feel free to do so. You add to the value of interactive fiction. But
> don't have the audacity to enter it into a contest of original works.

I don't see this as an audacious flaunting of the rules at all. Are you
saying that a derivative or translated work is completely lacking in
originality? If so, do you have the same concerns about Andrew's "Lists
and Lists" from last year's competition? It was just a Scheme port.

I suspect that this entry will be much like Chris Forman's MST3K entry in
the first competition: hotly debated, yet in no way indicating a future
trend in competition games.

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Check out
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.miningco.com


Richard Stamp

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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In article <627v2i$o1b$1...@calvin.skidmore.edu>,
Jonathan Fry <jf...@saims.skidmore.edu> wrote:
>
>This is exactly my complaint. I don't think it's fair to place the
>prose of the other games' authors against the prose of William
>Shakespeare. In fact, why would anyone dare to use their own writing
>when he/she can just submit some great author's prose instead?

I think the readers of this group (hence likely judgers of the games)
are a fairly sophisticated bunch. Why not just trust ourselves to
take these factors into account when scoring the games? We know that
Tempest's text isn't original, so we have to judge the game on its
playability and how well the play has been converted to the IF form.

Cheers,
Richard

Jeff Pack

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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On Fri, 17 Oct 1997 05:54:55 GMT, Kenneth Fair
<kjf...@midway.uchicago.edu.REMOVEME> wrote:>Hell, I downloaded the Complete Works of Shakespeare from the Gutenberg
>Project, and it *still* hasn't helped me!

Heck, I've studied him for years and I can't even get beyond the freaking
ship. There is no logical reason why a spirit like Ariel should be impeded
by a bit of waterproofed canvas.

--
Jeff Pack (book...@brown.edu) "Here I am, up on the podium,
Brown University, Class of 1999 Here I am, up on the dais;
English and American Literature There I go, playing with words again,
St. Anthony Hall, K'96 There I go... turn the phrase."

Jeff Pack

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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On 17 Oct 1997 16:54:44 GMT, Richard Stamp <rg...@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>I think the readers of this group (hence likely judgers of the games)
>are a fairly sophisticated bunch. Why not just trust ourselves to
>take these factors into account when scoring the games? We know that
>Tempest's text isn't original, so we have to judge the game on its
>playability and how well the play has been converted to the IF form.

One of the factors I took into consideration was how well the author's
own pseudo-Elizabethan iambs meshed with the Bard's...

Neil Brown

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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At 05:31:28 on Fri, 17 Oct 1997, Andrew Plotkin wrote:
>Mikko P Vuorinen (mvuo...@cc.helsinki.fi) wrote:
>> In <87703741...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au> s...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu
>.au (Stephen Robert Norris) writes:
>
>> But shouldn't everyone have a paperback copy of Shakespeare's complete
>> works?
>
>I would, for the sake of argument, agree that everyone *should*...

Some people might not like Shakespeare. I personally think that I'm too
young to appreciate it fully.

- NJB

J. Holder

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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In a fit of lunacy, Jonathan Fry <jf...@saims.skidmore.edu> escribed:
: The key here is his use of the words "a contest of original works".
: The rules specifically state
:
: "2.All games must be entirely your own creations. You may parody
: established works, but you may not, for example, write a game
: based on Sherlock Holmes. This avoids the entire issue of
: copyright and the ethics involved."

: The point in my mind is simple. The author seems to have broken one
: of the very basic rules of the competition. I'm not commenting on the
: quality of the work itself (which I cannot do under the rules, anyway)
: but more pointing out an obvious violation of the rules.

Not really - it is obvious from the wording of the rule that the intent
of the rule is to avoid "copyright and the ethics involved." Not to
speak at all about ethics (I'll leave that to someone else, or perhaps wait
until I've played the game so I can better judge), but Shakespeare is
certainly well known to be in the public domain - I certainly have downloaded
a free copy of the complete works.

: Though I'm really considering a port of "Hound of
: the Baskervilles" next year if "The Tempest" is allowed to stay; I'm
: curious as to how far these rules can be broken.

I believe that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate still strongly defends his
copyrights. Not so for the Bard...

--
John Holder (jho...@frii.com) http://www.frii.com/~jholder/
Sr. Programmer Analyst, J.D.Edwards World Source Company, Denver, CO
http://www.jdedwards.com/

Stephen Granade

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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On 17 Oct 1997, Jonathan Fry wrote:

> The key here is his use of the words "a contest of original works".
> The rules specifically state
>
> "2.All games must be entirely your own creations. You may parody
> established works, but you may not, for example, write a game
> based on Sherlock Holmes. This avoids the entire issue of
> copyright and the ethics involved."
>
> The point in my mind is simple. The author seems to have broken one
> of the very basic rules of the competition. I'm not commenting on the
> quality of the work itself (which I cannot do under the rules, anyway)
> but more pointing out an obvious violation of the rules.

I'd say that Tempest violates the letter of this law rather than its
spirit. The intent of rule 2 was to prevent copyright problems. As
Shakespeare's works are PD, this is not a problem.

At any rate, I agree w/Andrew's statement: rule judgements are up to
Kevin. Whether we agree with his decisions or not is immaterial. After he
has made a decision, all we are required to do is judge the game on its
own merits.

Stephen

Neil Brown

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
to

At 15:09:06 on Fri, 17 Oct 1997, Jonathan Fry wrote:
>dcorn...@placet.com wrote:
>: Without commenting on whether Tempest is a good game, I'd say that the
>: rule should be based on legal issues (copying Infocom characters or
>: ideas), but at the same time, The Tempest loses value inherently because
>: anyone can open up a classic and create a beautiful game.
>
>This is exactly my complaint. I don't think it's fair to place the
>prose of the other games' authors against the prose of William
>Shakespeare. In fact, why would anyone dare to use their own writing
>when he/she can just submit some great author's prose instead?
>
>(Also, who gets the prize in this instance? The programmer [whose
> identity is known to all of the other authors; it is unclear
> whether this was a mistake or not] or William Shakespeare?)

Um, sorry to stick my oar in (well, I'm not really, but I like to
pretend that I'm a nice person :), but this kind of discussion about a
contest entry could influence the decision of some of the voters, and is
not allowed under the rules. Unless we hear otherwise from Whizzard, we
should take the game in question to be as valid as any other entry, and
wait till the new year before analysing further.

(In case anyone takes that the wrong way, I'm not trying to be nasty or
stroppy or anything. Here's an extra smiley face just to prove it. :)

- NJB

Stephen van Egmond

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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Jonathan Fry <jf...@saims.skidmore.edu> wrote:
>The key here is his use of the words "a contest of original works".
>The rules specifically state
>
> "2.All games must be entirely your own creations. You may parody
> established works, but you may not, for example, write a game
> based on Sherlock Holmes. This avoids the entire issue of
> copyright and the ethics involved."

It seems that Tempest, the play, is not subject to Copyright. Tempest, the
game, thus falls in a crack of this rule, which provides mainly legal
motivation for itself. This rule serves mainly as a (valid) legalism, and
tangentially as a creative urge to do something new.

I would really hate it if next year's contest rules have a zillion
Whereas clauses.

>Let's hope so. :) Though I'm really considering a port of "Hound of


>the Baskervilles" next year if "The Tempest" is allowed to stay; I'm
>curious as to how far these rules can be broken.

The MST3K analogy is apt. It's only neat the first time someone does
it. The idea of placing a play in an IF context is a creative one, it's
not illegal, and it's novel here. As someone said upthread, we are
intelligent enough to judge reasonably.

/Steve

Mikko P Vuorinen

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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But shouldn't everyone have a paperback copy of Shakespeare's complete
works?

--
)))) (((( + Mikko Vuorinen + mvuo...@cc.helsinki.fi
)) OO `oo'((( + Dilbon@IRC + http://www.helsinki.fi/~mvuorine/
6 (_) ( ((( + GSM 050-5859733 +
`____c 8__/((( + + I made this.

Jonathan Fry

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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dcorn...@placet.com wrote:
: Without commenting on whether Tempest is a good game, I'd say that the
: rule should be based on legal issues (copying Infocom characters or
: ideas), but at the same time, The Tempest loses value inherently because
: anyone can open up a classic and create a beautiful game.

This is exactly my complaint. I don't think it's fair to place the
prose of the other games' authors against the prose of William
Shakespeare. In fact, why would anyone dare to use their own writing
when he/she can just submit some great author's prose instead?

(Also, who gets the prize in this instance? The programmer [whose
identity is known to all of the other authors; it is unclear
whether this was a mistake or not] or William Shakespeare?)

--Jon

+-------------------------------------------------------+
| Jonathan Fry jf...@skidmore.edu |
+-------------------------------------------------------+

Steve McKinney

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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On Fri, 17 Oct 1997 05:31:28 GMT, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
wrote:

>Mikko P Vuorinen (mvuo...@cc.helsinki.fi) wrote:

>> In <87703741...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au> s...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au (Stephen Robert Norris) writes:
>
>> But shouldn't everyone have a paperback copy of Shakespeare's complete
>> works?
>

>I would, for the sake of argument, agree that everyone *should*...
>

I disagree. I believe that one *should* have a paperback copy of
Shakespeare's complete works if and only if one *wants* to have a
paperback copy of Shakespeare's complete works, and is willing and
able to *obtain* a paperback copy of Shakespeare's complete works.

But I could be wrong.
--
Steve McKinney <sj...@avana.net>

"Never let your sense of morals keep you from doing what is right."
--Isaac Asimov

Jason Compton

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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Stephen Granade (sgra...@phy.duke.edu) wrote:
: > Without commenting on whether Tempest is a good game, I'd say that the
: > rule should be based on legal issues (copying Infocom characters or
: > ideas), but at the same time, The Tempest loses value inherently because
: > anyone can open up a classic and create a beautiful game.
:
: I completely disagree. I think anyone can open up a classic and create a
: horrible hash of the original. "Translating" a work such as "The Tempest"
: to IF is no small undertaking.

Totally agreed. It's been shown time and time again, especially where
games are concerned, that drawing on a classic or a blockbuster are often
guarantees for abject failure. I have not yet played the Tempest so I
can't make judgement on it, but I think that to presume it would be good
(or to credit whatever qualities it might have) to the quality of
Shakespeare is not valid.

: > A final note. If people want to copy ideas from famous works....please


: > feel free to do so. You add to the value of interactive fiction. But
: > don't have the audacity to enter it into a contest of original works.
:
: I don't see this as an audacious flaunting of the rules at all. Are you
: saying that a derivative or translated work is completely lacking in
: originality? If so, do you have the same concerns about Andrew's "Lists
: and Lists" from last year's competition? It was just a Scheme port.

And, again, is it an affront to sensibilities for a company (like even
Infocom) to sell games based on books or movies as "original" creations?
I don't think so.

--
Jason Compton jcom...@xnet.com
Editor-in-Chief, Amiga Report Magazine Anchor, Amiga Legacy
http://www.cucug.org/ar/ http://www.xnet.com/~jcompton/
There are only dreams... ...like any other.

Jonathan Fry

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
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Stephen Granade (sgra...@phy.duke.edu) wrote:
: I completely disagree. I think anyone can open up a classic and create a
: horrible hash of the original. "Translating" a work such as "The Tempest"
: to IF is no small undertaking.

This may be true, but I don't think the quality of the game is the
issue here (see below).

: > A final note. If people want to copy ideas from famous works....please
: > feel free to do so. You add to the value of interactive fiction. But
: > don't have the audacity to enter it into a contest of original works.

: I don't see this as an audacious flaunting of the rules at all. Are you
: saying that a derivative or translated work is completely lacking in
: originality? If so, do you have the same concerns about Andrew's "Lists
: and Lists" from last year's competition? It was just a Scheme port.

The key here is his use of the words "a contest of original works".


The rules specifically state

"2.All games must be entirely your own creations. You may parody
established works, but you may not, for example, write a game
based on Sherlock Holmes. This avoids the entire issue of
copyright and the ethics involved."

The point in my mind is simple. The author seems to have broken one


of the very basic rules of the competition. I'm not commenting on the
quality of the work itself (which I cannot do under the rules, anyway)
but more pointing out an obvious violation of the rules.

: I suspect that this entry will be much like Chris Forman's MST3K entry in

: the first competition: hotly debated, yet in no way indicating a future
: trend in competition games.

Let's hope so. :) Though I'm really considering a port of "Hound of


the Baskervilles" next year if "The Tempest" is allowed to stay; I'm
curious as to how far these rules can be broken.

--Jon

Kenneth Fair

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Oct 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/17/97
to

Hell, I downloaded the Complete Works of Shakespeare from the Gutenberg


Project, and it *still* hasn't helped me!

--

KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | <http://student-www.uchicago.edu/users/kjfair>
Of Counsel, U. of Ediacara | Power Mac! | CABAL(tm) | I'm w/in McQ - R U?

"Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is to quote
another's wit." - C.N. Bovee

FemaleDeer

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Derivative games (Tempest)
>From: svan...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Stephen van Egmond)
>Date: Fri, Oct 17, 1997 18:25 EDT

> "2.All games must be entirely your own creations. You
> may parody established works, but you may not, for
> example, write a game based on Sherlock Holmes. This > avoids the entire
issue of
> copyright and the ethics involved."

>As someone said upthread, we are

>intelligent enough to judge reasonably.

Yes, I think there are other issues involved with Tempest, other than just this
rule. One concerning the guessing about who wrote it. Another concerning it's
"playability" , which I will not go into because of the consensus in raif
about not discussing entries. And I would highly dispute that we are all
familiar with Shakespeare.

But I am going to dump in my two cents about the rule, itself.

1. HOW did Whizzard really know what the game was like when he accepted it? I
never really told him anything about mine and it was accepted. As far as I
could tell, he had very, very little time to preview them.

2. The way I read the above rule differs than how some others have read it. The
word ETHICS jumped out at me. Ethics as in "plagiarism", as in competiting
against original works with a non-original work. But maybe that was just me.

I do know that Hitchhiker, for instance, was adapted by THE AUTHOR (along with
an infocomer) for IF. And because he was the author, he could change what he
wanted in order to adapt it. So that is another ethical issue I have not seen
raised. How would each one of us like it, if someone took the source code of
one of our games and CHANGED it?

So the other ethical consideration is, changing an existing work by an author
who can no longer protest the change. Think about it. Yes, I know Shakespear
has been restaged in various ways and I think in the theatre this has also
been a hotly contested issue. I personally think an original art work should
not be altered by someone else. But, again, that may just be me and my own
sense of ownership as concerns my own works of fiction, painting and whatever.

As I remember, Infocom's Sherlock, used the character but not an existing
Sherlock Holmes story. I guess what I am saying is, should ANYONE mess with
some one else's art? Use the characters maybe, but not change an original
story. The changes may end up being what the original author would NEVER have
intended. Just as in the art world, people do not copy an "old master", except
for their own painting practice and amusement. But to try to sell their copy
or distribute it is called something starting with f.

FD Well, two cents is worth two cents. I guess I felt stronger about this than
I thought. Flame away.

Steve Bernard

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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In article <19971018025...@ladder02.news.aol.com>,

femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:
>
> So the other ethical consideration is, changing an existing work by an author
> who can no longer protest the change. Think about it. Yes, I know Shakespear
> has been restaged in various ways and I think in the theatre this has also
> been a hotly contested issue. I personally think an original art work should
> not be altered by someone else. But, again, that may just be me and my own
> sense of ownership as concerns my own works of fiction, painting and
whatever.

Of course, if we all worked this way, Leonard Bernstein never would have
adapted "Romeo and Juliet" into "West Side Story", "Madame Butterfly"
would have never received the new relavence "Miss Saigon" gave to it,
and...uh...Procul Harem never would have used that Bach melody for "A
Whiter Shade of Pale".:)

Aren't Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes a part of our culture, our
environment? That's kinda the spirit of the public domain. A work in the
public domain belongs to everybody and we are at least LEGALLY allowed to
use it. As for the morality of it, I personally would say "Anything
goes. Do whatever you want." But look at how the game in question has
used "The Tempest" and adapted it. I haven't got very far myself, but I
think it's a fairly reverential adaptation of the original. I think the
author simply wanted to make an interactive version of the play. This, I
believe, is along the same lines as adapting a novel for a film.

But moreover, suppose that this wasn't a faithful adaptation. Suppose it
was a parody of the original work. I think that's okay, too. Even our
oppressive copyright law is with me here (at least for the time being);
we have the right to parody any work of privately OR publically owned
art. You don't have to look too far to see how much parody there is in
the world around us. What if, say, The Simpsons hadn't done all those
hilarious Halloween specials over the years? I mean, think about the
parody of "The Shining" from a couple years back or their hilarious
version of "The Raven". I think that these are art in and of themselves.
The fact that they poke fun at a movie and a poem that I'm fond of
doesn't really change it.

There are many other examples where the work of others is used very
effectively and strikingly to convey a very different message. Early
Cubism and Dadaism spring to mind. True folk music has traditionally
been a process of incorporating old melodies and lyrics into constantly
evolving songs. This isn't possible in world where every scrap of art is
pinned down and privately owned and charged for. Defending the right of
a long-dead man to keep his plays in a completely unchanged state after
hundreds of years is as ridiculous as telling me how I can use "Jingle
Bells" (Traditional) or "Oh Susanna" (Stephen Foster, though it's so
common in our lives, many assume it's a folk tune). Things like that are
a part of our environment and they're as much mine as they are yours or
the late William Shakespeare's.

Just as in the art world, people do not copy an "old master",
except
> for their own painting practice and amusement. But to try to sell their copy
> or distribute it is called something starting with f.
>

Not entirely true. I've got a poster of the "Birth of Man". I doubt
Michaelangelo ever intended his work to be printed on a piece of paper
and hung on my wall. Countless reproductions of artworks are sold
legally all the time, it's just that the people who buy them know full
well that they're not getting the original Mona Lisa. I doubt many
people who play "The Tempest" will mistake it for the play. In the
visual arts there is a long tradition of found-image collages, from
Schwitters and Braque to Warhol and Rauschenberg. Maybe you don't think
that's art, but I do.

You're probably asking "Who is this guy? Why is he bothering me with
this nonsense?" Well, I'm Steve and I'm a lurker ("Hi Steve") and this
just happened to strike a nerve in me much the same as it did you. I
thought it might be nice to contribute to an actual conversation for a
change. Am I wrong? Possibly.

This has been my long-winded artsy-fartsyness for the day. Thank you.
-Steve Bernard Jr.

Chris Marriott

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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In article <kjfair-ya02408000...@uchinews.uchicago.edu>,
Kenneth Fair <kjf...@midway.uchicago.edu.REMOVEME> writes
>Please don't. Arthur Conan Doyle's works are still in copyright, from what
>I understand.

Most of the Sherlock Holmes stories are now in the public domain. Take a
look, for example, at the "Project Gutenberg" archives.

Chris

----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marriott, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.
SkyMap Software, U.K. e-mail: ch...@skymap.com
Visit our web site at http://www.skymap.com

Jonathan Fry

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:
: 2. I think the Tempest discussion is complicated by the fact that a lot of us
: think we know who wrote it. I think it is honest to admit this.

You and the rest of the authors _do_ know who wrote it. Check out the headers
on that e-mail Whizzard sent out to all of us--it reads
"William Shakespeare" with a clearly recognizable e-mail address after
it. As I said before, it is unclear whether this revelation was a
mistake or not.

Ruth Nestvold

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:

>So the other ethical consideration is, changing an existing work by an author
> who can no longer protest the change. Think about it. Yes, I know Shakespear
> has been restaged in various ways and I think in the theatre this has also
> been a hotly contested issue. I personally think an original art work should
> not be altered by someone else. But, again, that may just be me and my own
> sense of ownership as concerns my own works of fiction, painting and whatever.

I have the sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as absolute ownership
in the world of creative endeavors. Just as you have no control over how people
will view your creative efforts, what interpretation they will give them,
neither can you control how they're used once you're gone from here. It's a bit
like letting loose a child on the world. You've done your best, but once it's
out of there, it doesn't make much sense to try to maintain your power over it.

Ruth

Ruth Nestvold, r...@lit-arts.com
Cutting Edges: Or, a Web of Women
www.lit-arts.com/cutting_edges


Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:

> 3. However, I want to make clear that it wasn't just the Tempest which got me
> going in my last post. It was someone saying they wanted to do the Hound of
> the Baskervilles too (let's leave aside the estate issues and whether it COULD
> be done). Tampering with someone else's original work (although it may be in
> the public domain and they are dead) is something that does really bother me.

Like anything else, it can be done well or badly. That doesn't mean that
it's a bad thing to try.

> What if someone took the Hound and made it a comedy? The whole original intent
> and feel of what Arthur Conan Doyle had intended would be changed. This is a
> tricky, multilayered issue but I think it should be seriously thought about.
> Sure they are T.V. remakes of the Hound, but I have never seen any that really
> changed the essential story.

Well, someone took _Hamlet_ and made it a comedy. And drastically changed
the intent and feel of what Shakespeare intended. _Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern Are Dead_ is one of my very favorite works; frankly I enjoy
it much more than _Hamlet_, although that's just me.

You can't damage the original text. It's always still going to be there.

Chris [Steve] Piuma

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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In article <19971018065...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,

femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:
> What if someone took the Hound and made it a comedy? The whole original
intent
> and feel of what Arthur Conan Doyle had intended would be changed.

Exactly. This is why the prize would go to, say, Graham Nelson, instead of
to Arthur Conan Doyle. It would be Nelson's work, not Doyle's.

Although the work would say "based on the writings of A.C. Doyle", it would
clearly say "by Graham Nelson", and he would be the one to blame if we
didn't care for the work (or if we loved it). No one would blame Doyle for
a lousy "reinterpretation".

--
Chris [Steve] Piuma, etc. Nothing is at: http://www.brainlink.com/~cafard
[Editor of _flim_, Keeper of the R.E.M. Lyric Annotations FAQ, MST3K #43136]
....this message brought to you by the letters N and W and the number 36....
I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry. -- John Cage.

FemaleDeer

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
to

Okay, everyone has very good points. But I am not sure you are getting what I
am saying. I really meant someone that was basically trying to adhere to the
original plot line, whether in a serious mode or not, not a parody or collage
that lifted out several major elements. Maybe painting is different and it is
a media I am more familiar with. Possibly ownership of writing is "given up",
it is not somethng I had given a lot of thought to before, because I have
never really considered myself a writer.

However, I feel games are basically rather silly (which is why I like them) and
that some writing was never intended by the creator to be silly. Although I
may not be able to explain what I mean clearly and despite the fact others may
always disagree with me, this issue bothers me a lot and will continue to do
so.

FD

Steven Howard

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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In <19971018065...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, on 10/18/97
at 06, femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) said:

> What if someone took the Hound and made it a comedy?

God help us all, they did. It starred Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, who
were absolutely wonderful in "Bedazzled" and that comedy troupe they were
in (was it called Beyond the Edge?), but man did it stink on ice.

========
Steven Howard
bl...@ibm.net

What's a nice word like "euphemism" doing in a sentence like this?

Gerry Kevin Wilson

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.97101...@tower.york.ac.uk>
Nick <npm...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

> Competion rules aside, I cannot see any ethical or legal issues in staging
> a play that is out of copyright. Admittedly the staging is rather more
> experimental here than usual but worse things have been done to the Bard
> without any lasting damage.
> The clause in the rules about origionality always seemed to me to be about
> avoiding plageurism rather than prohibiting reworkings of texts, but I may
> be wrong.
> Nick

Okay, just to make that rule clear: It is there to protect the contest legally.
I don't know if the contest and its organizer can be included in a lawsuit
against someone who blatantly plaigerized something for a game, but I'm
taking no chances, after all, I live in the US, where some patently silly
lawsuits have been awarded large sums of money.

So, anything based off a work still in copyright, or even sometimes
defended (Sherlock Holmes is still defended, as Star Trek fans know, as
is JRR Tolkien's stuff.) won't be allowed. As I stated on rgif, I allowed
Tempest because there are no copyright issues with it, the Bard isn't
about to sue either me or the author, and neither is his estate.

[Oh, and before you fantasy authors panic, JRR Tolkien's stuff entails
the world of Middle Earth and its specific characters as far as I'm
concerned. I think we're small enough to get by with mentions of
'hobbits', no problem. :) ]

So there you have the legal side, now what did I mean by ethical?
I was referring to MiSTings, which the rule was also designed to
cover. There's a fine line in a MiSTing between poking fun and
blatantly just insulting the author, and I doubt that many people
could walk that line. And hey, who's more likely to sue, a big author's
estate that's never heard of IF, or a badly disgruntled author?

So really, I'm not all THAT worried about the rule, it's just there to cover
our collective butts.

G. Kevin Wilson: Freelance Writer and Game Designer. Resumes on demand.


dcorn...@placet.com

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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What a wonderful discussion. I'm beginning to believe we've been had. I
believe the author intended this exact discussion and is silently amused
over it's progress.

To the author....aka William Shakespeare, what hath thou wrought?

To all......The contest should be ORIGINAL works. Period. We should
change the rule for next year to be extremelely clear about this....

I withdraw my complaint and feel The Tempest should be allowed, in
support of the contest rules, which I interpret as "Don't use 'protected'
materials".

David Cornelson

John Wood

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
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FemaleDeer <femal...@aol.com> writes

>2. The way I read the above rule differs than how some others have read it. The
> word ETHICS jumped out at me. Ethics as in "plagiarism", as in competiting
> against original works with a non-original work. But maybe that was just me.

This debate is interesting, because I used to work for a software house
which wrote a commercial text adventure based on a Shakespeare play - the
Scottish one. It won at least one award in the UK, and (naturally) sank like
a stone in the marketplace.

This was before I joined, but I think the play was treated with respect - and
a copy of the script was included with the game.

I have no problem comparing a work like this with an entirely original one.
Maybe the author has a "leg-up"from the original author when it comes to
the writing; this is counterbalanced in the judging by a need to live up to the
feel of the original. Comparing (say) _Lists and Lists_ with _Piece of
Mind_ already calls to mind a certain simile involving chalk and cheese -
this just adds one more ingredient to the pot.

John

Kenneth Fair

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
to

In article <6286ft$sla$1...@calvin.skidmore.edu>, jf...@saims.skidmore.edu
(Jonathan Fry) wrote:

>Let's hope so. :) Though I'm really considering a port of "Hound of
>the Baskervilles" next year if "The Tempest" is allowed to stay; I'm
>curious as to how far these rules can be broken.

Please don't. Arthur Conan Doyle's works are still in copyright, from what
I understand.

--

KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | <http://student-www.uchicago.edu/users/kjfair>
Of Counsel, U. of Ediacara | Power Mac! | CABAL(tm) | I'm w/in McQ - R U?

"Our Mother Goose who art in the henhouse, hallowed be thy name. Thy roast-
ing come. Thy meat be done in earth as it is in heaven." - Riley Sinder

FemaleDeer

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Oct 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/18/97
to

I am appended my pervious post. Since I stuck my foot in my mouth I am going to
jam it firmly in.

1. I don't think competition always brings out the best in people (including
myself). I would prefer yearly awards rather than the heat and fury of a year
end competition. I didn't like what the competition was doing to my own
feelings about the other games. Once I withdrew I discovered I could look at
them again without envy and just enjoy the effort and creativity of other
people.

2. I think the Tempest discussion is complicated by the fact that a lot of us
think we know who wrote it. I think it is honest to admit this.

3. However, I want to make clear that it wasn't just the Tempest which got me


going in my last post. It was someone saying they wanted to do the Hound of
the Baskervilles too (let's leave aside the estate issues and whether it COULD
be done). Tampering with someone else's original work (although it may be in
the public domain and they are dead) is something that does really bother me.

What if someone took the Hound and made it a comedy? The whole original intent

and feel of what Arthur Conan Doyle had intended would be changed. This is a
tricky, multilayered issue but I think it should be seriously thought about.
Sure they are T.V. remakes of the Hound, but I have never seen any that really
changed the essential story.

I am not saying that is what this person intended to do, but it could happen in
the future with someone else. Anyway, draw your own conclusions about how much
IF authors should get into the grey realm of converting other authors' works
to games. If the author is alive and gives their consent, then there is no
issue. Otherwise it really becomes one big, sticky ethical mess.

Okay, I am putting my soap box away.

FemaleDeer

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Oct 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/19/97
to

>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Derivative games (Tempest)
>From: dcorn...@placet.com
>Date: Sat, Oct 18, 1997 17:51 EDT
>Message-id: <8772076...@dejanews.com>

>
>What a wonderful discussion. I'm beginning to believe we've been had. I
>believe the author intended this exact discussion and is silently amused
>over it's progress.

>David Cornelson

Exactly. But that does not mean this issues involved shouldn't be discussed.

I agree and have thought that for sometime.

Graham Nelson

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Oct 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/19/97
to

In article <cafard-ya02408000...@snews.zippo.com>,

<URL:mailto:caf...@brainlink.com> wrote:
> In article <19971018065...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
> femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:
> > What if someone took the Hound and made it a comedy? The whole original
> intent
> > and feel of what Arthur Conan Doyle had intended would be changed.
>
> Exactly. This is why the prize would go to, say, Graham Nelson, instead of
> to Arthur Conan Doyle. It would be Nelson's work, not Doyle's.

No, no, it would be my brother Mycroft's.

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


HarryH

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Oct 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/19/97
to

In article <8771725...@dejanews.com>, x96be...@wmich.edu says...

>Aren't Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes a part of our culture, our
>environment? That's kinda the spirit of the public domain. A work in the
>public domain belongs to everybody and we are at least LEGALLY allowed to
>use it. As for the morality of it, I personally would say "Anything
>goes. Do whatever you want." But look at how the game in question has
>used "The Tempest" and adapted it. I haven't got very far myself, but I
>think it's a fairly reverential adaptation of the original. I think the
>author simply wanted to make an interactive version of the play. This, I
>believe, is along the same lines as adapting a novel for a film.
>

[snip]

Hi Steve,

Excellent post, I should say.
Normally, it is legal. However, for this contest, there's a rule that says:

: "2.All games must be entirely your own creations. You may parody


: established works, but you may not, for example, write a game
: based on Sherlock Holmes. This avoids the entire issue of
: copyright and the ethics involved."

Parodying Moby Dick (The One That Got Away) is fine. Writing a game based on
Sherlock Holmes, William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or some other
famous writer is not. The rule says so.

If you want to write games based on famous authors, you can. But it can't be
an entry on this contest.

-------------------------------------------------------
Of course I'll work on weekends without pay!
- successful applicant


FemaleDeer

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Oct 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/19/97
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>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Derivative games (Tempest)
>From: har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH)
>Date: Sun, Oct 19, 1997 12:03 EDT

>f you want to write games based on famous authors, you >can. But it can't be
>an entry on this contest.

I think a game loosely "based on" and using an author's actual words (and maybe
most of the plot in the author's actual words) are two different things. It is
true all stories are somewhat derivative. It's the actual words and actual
plot part that bothers me. I am glad we are discussing this.

Jon Petersen

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Oct 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/19/97
to

Andrew Plotkin wrote:
>
> Well, someone took _Hamlet_ and made it a comedy. And drastically changed
> the intent and feel of what Shakespeare intended. _Rosencrantz and
> Guildenstern Are Dead_ is one of my very favorite works; frankly I enjoy
> it much more than _Hamlet_, although that's just me.
>

Oh. For a minute there I thought you meant that other adaptation of
Hamlet, _Strange Brew_. (Personally, I thought the flying dog was a
marvellous addition.) -Jon

Steve Bernard

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Oct 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/19/97
to

In article <19971019171...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:


> I think a game loosely "based on" and using an author's actual words (and
maybe
> most of the plot in the author's actual words) are two different things. It
is
> true all stories are somewhat derivative. It's the actual words and actual
> plot part that bothers me. I am glad we are discussing this.

Of course, this is a different point than taking one of "our"
(discounting me, as I have no game)games' source code and changing it.
Nor is it really related to taking _The_Hound_of_the_Baskervilles_ and
making it a comedy. And it doesn't seem to be about putting
Shakespeare's play in a "silly" context.

But as for taking the words of the author verbatim, I don't see the
problem. I don't know, maybe taking and adapting a novel or play written
recently would be a different thing, but we are talking about a play
written hundreds of years ago! Again, I think that Shakespeare is a part
of our culture, that he belongs to me and to you, whether or not you want
to accept it. It's not just that he isn't around to say anything about
it, it's that I can use my own property (the public domain) any way I
want to. That's my right.

But what's even the problem here? The game isn't being charged for. It
isn't, according to Kevin Wilson himself, a violation of the rules. It's
not going to come across as a forgery. Is the problem the fact that Mr.
Nelson's game, adhering to the rules of the competition by judgement of
the man who wrote said rules, submitted as freeware for the competition
in hope of possibly winning maybe a hundred bucks, uses prose and plot
that already belong to him? I don't see where ethics have been violated.

As for Shakespeare's original intent: so what? He ISN'T around to say
anything. If he was, "The Tempest" wouldn't belong to us and it would be
a completely different issue.

I guess this is an issue of Intellectual Property. Such issues interest
me greatly and I tend to expound on them. At the same time though, feel
free to be bothered by "The Tempest" as a game. I'm not here to tell
anyone else what to think, just adding my two cents, as it were.

-Steve Bernard Jr.

-- The following text will serve as an insight into the quality of the
Western Michigan University news server:

Mordacai

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

Tempests in teapots...or the virtual equivalent thereof. I'm sorry, the pun
was just SO easy ;)

Ian Finley

Laurel Halbany

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

>I would, for the sake of argument, agree that everyone *should*...

Unless one already has a hardcover edition, which is less likely to
dissolve or to be creamed by small children.

----------------------------------------------------------
Laurel Halbany
mythago@twisty_little_maze.com
(Substitute dashes for underscores to remove spamblock)

Laurel Halbany

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:

>However, I feel games are basically rather silly (which is why I like them) and
> that some writing was never intended by the creator to be silly. Although I
> may not be able to explain what I mean clearly and despite the fact others may
> always disagree with me, this issue bothers me a lot and will continue to do
> so.

I agree with your second point--that attempts to make a serious work
funny often fall flat (anybody else remember "Elephant!"), but not
your first--that "games are basically rather silly." Why are games
silly? Because they don't affect the Middle East situation, or you
could be building dams in Guatemala instead of playing Curses?

Magnus Olsson

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

In article <1997101922...@d248.b64.cmb.ma.ultra.net>,
mathew <me...@pobox.com> wrote:

>FemaleDeer <femal...@aol.com> wrote:
>> 2. The way I read the above rule differs than how some others have read
>> it. The word ETHICS jumped out at me. Ethics as in "plagiarism", as in
>> competiting against original works with a non-original work. But maybe
>> that was just me.
>>
>> I do know that Hitchhiker, for instance, was adapted by THE AUTHOR (along
>> with an infocomer) for IF. And because he was the author, he could change
>> what he wanted in order to adapt it. So that is another ethical issue I
>> have not seen raised. How would each one of us like it, if someone took
>> the source code of one of our games and CHANGED it?
>
>Well, in this particular case we're talking about William Shakespeare.
>And in Shakespeare's time, copyright and commerce did not determine the
>bounds of artistic expression to quite the same degree. It was quite
>common for authors to base entire plays on other similar stories,
>re-writing and changing them.

As an example, Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors" is more or less a
straight re-write of an ancient Roman comedy. Today, that would be
frowned upon as plagiarism; in Shakespeare's time, it was quite OK.

As for the case where somebody took the source code of my game and
rewrote it. Well, I would be upset. Doing so would also be illegal -
we have copyright law to protect us from exactly that.

This was also exactly what happened last year: "MST3k1" took the
text of "Detective" and used it, verbatim. This year's rule against
derivative works was put in place to prevent this from happening
again.

But Shakespeare's works are in the public domain, and have, in a
sense, always been so (since there wasn't any copyright in
Shakespeare's time).

>The line to me is whether the act of appropriation and transformation
>makes the resulting work a valid artistic creation in its own right --
>not just a copy of the original. I admit that this can be a fuzzy line,
>but I'm happy to let the courts decide particularly tricky cases.
>
>I haven't played The Tempest, but it seems clear to me that the author
>must have put in a huge amount of work; and the result must go way
>beyond anything Shakespeare could ever have imagined. As far as I'm
>concerned, that makes it valid art in its own right -- and concerns over
>copyright or respect should not be used to attempt to stifle it.

I think there are *three* issues here, and we shouldn't confuse them:

1) Artistic "depth". Where is the dividing line between plagiarism
and derivative works? It's a difficult question. But if you make a film
of "Hamlet", you're adding something of your own, and the film
will (probably justly) be known as "Director-so-and-so's _Hamlet_", not
as "Shakespeare's _Hamlet_, as filemd by director-so-and-so".
Likewise, "MST3k1" *adds* a lot to "Detective". Playing "MST3k1" is
quite a different experience from playing "Detective". And I _assume_
(since I haven't played it) that playing the interactive version of
_Tempest_ is a different experience from reading (or watching) the play.

There is of course plagiarism as well, which is distinguished by two
things: that you try to pass someone else's work off as your own, and
that you don't add anything significant.

2) Intellectual property issues. Even if a derivative work is "right"
by the artistic definition above, it may still be legally and morally
wrong to use someone else's work in a way of which they don't approve,
and perhaps in a way that robs them of income (not very likely int he
case of IF, perhaps). If Conan Doyle were alive, he might object to
the adaptation of _The Hound of the Baskervilles_ as a comedy about
homosexuality, not only because he didn'tlike the subject (he probably
wouldn't have), but also because it would limit his own artistic
expression - people would get the "wrong" ideas of his characters,
meaning that he couldn't use them in the way he intended.

3) Ethical issues *apart* from intellectual property. Even if you
think that misting a particularly bad game adds alot artistically, and
even if you don't think that intellectual property is worth a damn,
you still have the ethical issue that you're using another person's
works to ridicule him. I'm not saying that this is always wrong (using
a pompous politician's own words to show how absurd he is may be a
service to democracy), only that it's an ethical consideration you
have to make.


In the case of Shakespeare, point 2) is moot, and as for point 3),
people have done the strangest things to Shakespeare already...

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------
Not officially connected to LU or LTH.

FemaleDeer

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

I am not going to make myself clearer than I already have, because there were a
lot of things I could have said and did not want to get into because they
could have sounded like slams. But I think now that this discussion has taken
place I have come to realize two things:

1. I think most painters would view this differently than most writers, because
writers are much more able to freely and easily use someone else's words,
plots and concepts. And in some cases, because of that fact, they might be
very defensive about it. This has been an interesting discovery for me because
I had never really thought about how much the concept of "creative ownership"
could differ so radically from one media to another.

2. That competitions are more a "male thing" than a female thing. Which a lot
would probably disagree with, but I must conclude this viewpoint has some
validity just from the obvious facts. At least, I know PESONALLY, several
aspects about this competition some of the discussions surrounding it have
really turned me off. Nevertheless I am still enjoying the games.

So I have learned something. It is always nice to learn things.

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

Jon Petersen (en...@ucla.edu) wrote:
> Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> >
> > Well, someone took _Hamlet_ and made it a comedy. And drastically changed
> > the intent and feel of what Shakespeare intended. _Rosencrantz and
> > Guildenstern Are Dead_ is one of my very favorite works; frankly I enjoy
> > it much more than _Hamlet_, although that's just me.
> >

> Oh. For a minute there I thought you meant that other adaptation of
> Hamlet, _Strange Brew_.

Heh. I'd forgotten _Strange Brew_.

I liked that too, although not nearly as much as _R&G'r'dead_.

tv's Spatch

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard: dead! Joe Mason:
> In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

> Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
> >> Oh. For a minute there I thought you meant that other adaptation of
> >> Hamlet, _Strange Brew_.
> >
> >Heh. I'd forgotten _Strange Brew_.
> >
> >I liked that too, although not nearly as much as _R&G'r'dead_.
>
> Eh? Are we talking about the same _Strange Brew_? The one with Bob and Doug
> Mackenzie? I'd missed the connection to Hamlet in that...

Oh, the Elsinore Brewery, the dead owner who turns up as a ghost to aid
his child, a flying dog, that sort of thing.

--
spa...@javanet.com.andbacon is but one of many Spatula tentacles. Rar.
More fun than watching paint dry in an extremely humid clime -- PUTPBAD!
Let http://www.javanet.com/~spatula/booth.html show you how it's done.
"Passengers will refrain from KILLING MY SOUL!" - Stu the Bus Driver

Magnus Olsson

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

In article <19971020185...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,

FemaleDeer <femal...@aol.com> wrote:
>>Subject: Re: [IfComp97] Derivative games (Tempest)
>>From: m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson)
>>Date: Mon, Oct 20, 1997 13:21 EDT
>
>>Which obvious facts? (Not being snide, really, it's just that I >can't see any
> "obvious" evidence that women are >inherenty non-competitive).
>
>i.e. Check the number of REAL women who entered the contest.

Well, that's obvious, but I don't think the statistics are good enough
to draw any general conclusions - after all, how many women write adventure
games?

Magnus Olsson

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Oct 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/20/97
to

In article <19971020125...@ladder02.news.aol.com>,

FemaleDeer <femal...@aol.com> wrote:
>1. I think most painters would view this differently than most writers, because
> writers are much more able to freely and easily use someone else's words,
> plots and concepts.

I don't think that's truenowadays, what with photocopiers and
Photoshop. And, as Hollywood has demonstrated lately, filmmakers
aren't "safe" either.

>2. That competitions are more a "male thing" than a female thing.

Maybe. On the other hand, I know of - and know - many _extremely_
competitive women.

> Which a lot
> would probably disagree with, but I must conclude this vie