Average Age of IF Authors

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Robotboy8

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Feb 25, 2001, 8:00:30 PM2/25/01
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In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at adults, I
thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)

But then I saw a post with a link to the poster's site. On this site he said
he was 12 years old and I thought:

Maybe I'm not the only one.

My theory is that IF is (as of right now) mainly by and for smart adults - many
adults I know would never "waste their time on dumb text". So I thought:

How old are most of us anyway? No offense meant, and I don't mean for every
RAIFfer to flame me to death about impoliteness, but how many of us are not yet
legal adults, anyway?

Mike Sousa

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Feb 25, 2001, 8:38:19 PM2/25/01
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Robotboy8 wrote:

Heh, this post caught me funny, especially the smart adult bit, but I digress. As
for age? Let's just say I have socks older than you....

Cheers,
-- Mike


Eric Mayer

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Feb 25, 2001, 9:41:01 PM2/25/01
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I've been a legal adult for way too long. I've just avoided growing
up.

--
Eric Mayer
Web Site: <http://home.epix.net/~maywrite>

"The map is not the territory." -- Alfred Korzybski

MFischer5

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Feb 25, 2001, 11:48:22 PM2/25/01
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From: emay...@epix.net (Eric Mayer)

>robo...@aol.com (Robotboy8) wrote:
>>How old are most of us anyway? No offense meant, and I don't
>>mean for every RAIFfer to flame me to death about impoliteness,
>>but how many of us are not yet legal adults, anyway?
>
>I've been a legal adult for way too long. I've just avoided growing
>up.

Now I'm wondering how many of us are *illegal* adults...

Kathleen (who left 12 behind a few decades ago)

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Feb 26, 2001, 12:16:55 AM2/26/01
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Robotboy8 wrote:
>
> In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at
> adults, I thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)
>
> My theory is that IF is (as of right now) mainly by and for smart
> adults - many adults I know would never "waste their time on dumb
> text".

Well, yeah, I'm all grown up and stuff, but my interest in IF dates
back to when I was 10 or 11, and has continued since. So it doesn't
surprise me to find it is still appealing to 12 year olds out there.

The difference is, there were no IF-writing tools and languages
like Inform and TADS available to me then, just BASIC. Blah! Oh
well, it was kind of a rite of passage, in a way, writing that
first goofy text game in BASIC with no particular parser to
speak of.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler http://thekroneexperiment.com
whe...@jump.net

Jake Wildstrom

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Feb 26, 2001, 3:25:38 AM2/26/01
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In article <20010225200030...@ng-mf1.aol.com>,

Robotboy8 <robo...@aol.com> wrote:
>In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at adults, I
>thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)

I'm 20, an I know I'm near the lower end but by now means at the bottom of the
age spectrum. I've always been into IF; of course, I grew up in the 80's in a
household with a computer, so I was pretty much _raised_ on IF. My childhood
consisted of mapping out the Zork I maze, getting Starcross as a present when
I _finally_ lost my first tooth (I lost 'em late...), going on dialup BBSes
to get help on the Babel fish puzzle (hey, I bet I'm the only person here who
played HHGTTG before I read the book!). Cherished memories all... I still have,
in a drawer of my desk, a letter addressed to my brother (who's since outgrown
<sniff> IF) congratulating him on solving the NZT quote-acrostic and sending
him a free T-shirt (the T-shirt is long gone). I guess I've gotten off the
point, but yeah, some of us (even the "new generation-ers") have been around
for a while; I'm quite sure I was here for the '97 comp, and I think I was
around a little before that (of course, I lurked).

>But then I saw a post with a link to the poster's site. On this site he said
>he was 12 years old and I thought:
>
>Maybe I'm not the only one.
>

>How old are most of us anyway? No offense meant, and I don't mean for every


>RAIFfer to flame me to death about impoliteness, but how many of us are not
>yet legal adults, anyway?

Well, I can vote, but I can't drink. Or rather, I can now, but won't
be able to 4 months from now (and 5 months from now I'll be able to
again. Lord, what a complicated world we live in).

For some reason I was sure David Glasser was younger than me. Wasn't he 14,
or spmewhere thereabouts, when he wrote VirtuaTech (not a comment on
VirtuaTech's quality -- I just thought I read somewhere about this)?

Ian Finley's older than me, but not by much. I'm extraordinarily impressed.
(I'd hazard a guess that he's the youngest person to win an IFComp).

+--First Church of Briantology--Order of the Holy Quaternion--+
| A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into |
| theorems. -Paul Erdos |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| Jake Wildstrom |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+

Michael Kinyon

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Feb 26, 2001, 7:37:59 AM2/26/01
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robo...@aol.com (Robotboy8) wrote:
>How old are most of us anyway?

Generalizing your question from IF authors
to r.*.i-f regulars, I am 36. The oldest among
us is probably Bob Newell, but I'll let him
jump him with the exact figure if he's around.

If we move from Youngest/Oldest to Best-Looking,
then I am the clear winner. Similarly for
Most Vain.

Cheers,
MK, who wishes the XYZZY awards reflected
what is really important around here.

--
Michael Kinyon | email: mki...@iusb.edu
Dept of Mathematics & Computer Science | http://www.iusb.edu/~mkinyon
Indiana University South Bend | phone: 219-237-4240
South Bend, IN 46634 USA | fax: 219-237-6589
"If you're sitting in an environment with three lines of
unchanging text and one object, and you don't examine the
object, you deserve your fate." -- Zarf

Al

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Feb 26, 2001, 11:57:03 AM2/26/01
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Michael Kinyon wrote:

> robo...@aol.com (Robotboy8) wrote:
> >How old are most of us anyway?
>
> Generalizing your question from IF authors
> to r.*.i-f regulars, I am 36. The oldest among
> us is probably Bob Newell, but I'll let him
> jump him with the exact figure if he's around.
>

Sorry Mike but ole Al here is 50 Something ! ! ! !

Marnie Parker

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Feb 26, 2001, 12:55:27 PM2/26/01
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>Subject: Re: Average Age of IF Authors
>From: mfis...@aol.com (MFischer5)
>Date: 2/25/2001 8:48 PM Pacific Standard Time

>Now I'm wondering how many of us are *illegal* adults...
>
>Kathleen (who left 12 behind a few decades ago)
>
>

Silly, think we'd admit it?

Doe :-) (I'm still in hiding from the act-your-age police.)


doea...@aol.com
Glulx/Glk for Dunces http://members.aol.com/doepage/glkdunces.htm
IF Art Gallery http://members.aol.com/iffyart/
IF Review Conspiracy http://www.textfire.com/conspiracy/
The Tame Computer http://members.aol.com/tamecomputer/

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 26, 2001, 4:13:48 PM2/26/01
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In article <9054420F4mkiny...@129.79.6.162>,

Michael Kinyon <mki...@iusb.edu> wrote:
>If we move from Youngest/Oldest to Best-Looking,
>then I am the clear winner. Similarly for
>Most Vain.

But *I* am Not Only Most Likely to Pee In Your Cereal, but Also (And As
Well) Most Likely to Offhandedly Decapitate the odd Bevy of Truckers.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

MTPletsch

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Feb 26, 2001, 6:01:33 PM2/26/01
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Actually, I was wondering the same thing myself. I'm only 15 (I'm a freshman).
I think I got into IF about three years ago, but I'm just now learning Inform.
It's really funny to me...I feel sometimes like I'm sitting on Grandpa's
knee... People recalling their childhood memories of Interactive Fiction. But
it seems like the 80's just happened!

Michael Kinyon

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Feb 26, 2001, 7:17:23 PM2/26/01
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ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:
>But *I* am Not Only Most Likely to Pee In Your Cereal,
>but Also (And As Well) Most Likely to Offhandedly Decapitate
>the odd Bevy of Truckers.

Ah, excellent. I was looking for a new .sig.
Now I have found it.

Cheers,
MK

--
Michael K. Kinyon | email: mki...@iusb.edu
Dept of Mathematical Sciences | http://www.iusb.edu/~mkinyon


Indiana University South Bend | phone: 219-237-4240
South Bend, IN 46634 USA | fax: 219-237-6589

"But *I* am Not Only Most Likely to Pee In Your Cereal,
but Also (And As Well) Most Likely to Offhandedly Decapitate

the odd Bevy of Truckers." -- Adam J. Thornton

J.D. Berry

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Feb 28, 2001, 9:04:37 AM2/28/01
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But you know you're ancient when you're older than several of the professors
in the community. Thank goodness for Eric Mayer. ;-)

Jim

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W. Top Changwatchai

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Feb 28, 2001, 10:08:00 AM2/28/01
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J.D. Berry <jdb...@MailAndNews.com> wrote in message
news:3AA9...@MailAndNews.com...

> But you know you're ancient when you're older than several of the
professors
> in the community. Thank goodness for Eric Mayer. ;-)

March will find me kicking and screaming and leaving claw marks in the floor
as I'm dragged to 30.

Last night the discussion turned to age and I found I was the oldest member
of the group (no big surprise). And yes, I know some professors who are
younger than I am.

On the plus side, I had fun wagging my finger at people and telling them to
"mind their elders."

Top
--
W. Top Changwatchai
chngwtch at u i u c dot edu

Neil Tomlinson

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Feb 28, 2001, 4:52:17 PM2/28/01
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On Sun, 25 Feb 2001 20:38:19 -0500, Mike Sousa <mso...@efortress.com>
wrote:

>
>
>Robotboy8 wrote:
>
>> In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at adults, I
>> thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)

>> How old are most of us anyway? No offense meant, and I don't mean for every


>> RAIFfer to flame me to death about impoliteness, but how many of us are not yet
>> legal adults, anyway?

I'm a 21 year-old IFer, which would just scrape me in as an adult in
America, but means I've been a legal adult here in England for a
couple of years now (pity that I'm teetotal).

I'm new on this newsgroup, and from what I've gathered so far my early
experience of IF is incredibly different to most peoples - hands up
anyone who's heard of even _half_ of the games listed here:

The Hobbit
Curse of Volcan
By Jove
Denis through the Drinking Glass
Sherlock (by Melbourne House)
Ring of Power
Extricator
Corya
Black Knight

(actually, I'm cheating - I got most of those off C64 magazine cover
tapes. I'm not sure they were released commercially)

On the other hand, _I'd_ never heard of HHG2G (although I'm infinitely
curious about it, being a fan of the book), or any of the Zork series
before I stumbled across the IF community. Which leads me to
wonder...

Does people's early experience of IF differ depending on where they
are in the world? Or is (as I suspect) my lack of knowledge purely
down to my own ignorance?

Just a thought.


Neil Tomlinson (who is currently leaping gaily through the rich
pickings of IF games, and being constantly amazed and horrified by the
high standards he has to aspire to).

wo...@one.net

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Feb 28, 2001, 11:33:17 PM2/28/01
to

Hi robotboy8,

>In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at adults, I
>thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)

>How old are most of us anyway? No offense meant, and I don't mean for every


>RAIFfer to flame me to death about impoliteness, but how many of us are not yet
>legal adults, anyway?

No offense taken. I'm 40, less than a month from 41... (and hey, I
(dimly) remember the 60's! :)

Of course if you're only as old as you feel my age ranges from about
16 to about 16,000...

Respectfully,

Wolf

"The world is my home, it's just that some rooms are draftier than
others". -- Wolf

Bob

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Mar 1, 2001, 1:04:47 AM3/1/01
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Michael Kinyon <mki...@iusb.edu> wrote in message
news:9054420F4mkiny...@129.79.6.162...

> robo...@aol.com (Robotboy8) wrote:
> >How old are most of us anyway?
The oldest among
> us is probably Bob Newell, but I'll let him
> jump him with the exact figure if he's around.

Geez. Where did I get this (accurate) reputation for oldness?

I will NOT jump in with the exact figure and anyhow, Volker is older.

Let's just say that I learned to program in Fortran in 1966 and leave it at
that.


Joshua E Millard

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Mar 1, 2001, 3:09:15 AM3/1/01
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Neil Tomlinson (greldin_...@tesco.net) uttered:

>
>I'm a 21 year-old IFer, which would just scrape me in as an adult in
>America, but means I've been a legal adult here in England for a
>couple of years now (pity that I'm teetotal).

Topic swerve -- here in the States, 18 is the age of legal adulthood, so 21
isn't really "just scraping in." Granted, one can't legally buy booze
until 21, but that doesn't seem to have much of an effect on "underage"
alcohol consumption. ;)

--
+---+ With great effort, you move the boulder. ################
|..$| # Josh Millard #
|.@'.##########################################################
|<d.| # pu...@wpi.edu # www.wpi.edu/~pulp - music, words, etc #
+---+ ########################################################

Marie-Line Chabanol

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Mar 1, 2001, 4:57:13 AM3/1/01
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In article <3a9d731...@news.tesco.net>,
greldin_...@tesco.net (Neil Tomlinson) writes:

...

|> Does people's early experience of IF differ depending on where they
|> are in the world? Or is (as I suspect) my lack of knowledge purely
|> down to my own ignorance?
|>
|> Just a thought.
|>
|>

Well, I guess it might also depend on their age... I suspect younger people
never heard of Zork, for example. As for me, I do not think my first experience
of IF is very typical. (I am also quite new on this newsgroup, there might
be a correlation). I am 27 and french; my parents did not have any computer,
nor did most of my friends (it was not a question of money; more a question
of cultural habits. We had books, CDs, video-tapes, and felt it was enough.
For us, computers were meant for work usage only);
I first played a computer game in 1992.
I played Eric the Unready in 1993 (which could qualify as interactive fiction,
although it has pictures); a very great game by the way. My next experience
with interactive fiction was Dunnet (in 2000), the text adventure that
comes with emacs. I tried to find some more, and discovered GMD, and games
like Babel, Photopia, Theatre and so on. I had never heard of Infocom, and
had heard of Zork only because of Zork Nemesis. (Since then I downloaded
them, but I think they are too hard for me).
Would have it been different, had I lived in the US ? Certainly, but how ?
Likely, I would have had a computer earlier. But then, my taste for IF
comes from my taste for books, more than from my taste for video games...

What about the others ? Did you all fall in IF when you were kids ?

Marie-Line

Michael Kinyon

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Mar 1, 2001, 8:14:55 AM3/1/01
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chun...@onebox.com (Bob) wrote:
>Michael Kinyon <mki...@iusb.edu> wrote:
>> The oldest among us is probably Bob Newell,
>> but I'll let him jump him with the exact figure
>> if he's around.
>
>Geez. Where did I get this (accurate) reputation for oldness?

Dave Bagget told me once that you had grandchildren.
The inference seemed reasonable. Except...

>I will NOT jump in with the exact figure and anyhow,
>Volker is older.

Oh, right. Silly of me to forget.

>Let's just say that I learned to program in
>Fortran in 1966 and leave it at that.

Indeed.

Cheers,
MK

--
Michael K. Kinyon | email: mki...@iusb.edu
Dept of Mathematical Sciences | http://www.iusb.edu/~mkinyon


Indiana University South Bend | phone: 219-237-4240
South Bend, IN 46634 USA | fax: 219-237-6589

John Colagioia

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Mar 1, 2001, 8:50:17 AM3/1/01
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Jake Wildstrom wrote:

> In article <20010225200030...@ng-mf1.aol.com>,
> Robotboy8 <robo...@aol.com> wrote:
> >In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at adults, I
> >thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)
> I'm 20, an I know I'm near the lower end but by now means at the bottom of the
> age spectrum. I've always been into IF; of course, I grew up in the 80's in a
> household with a computer, so I was pretty much _raised_ on IF. My childhood
> consisted of mapping out the Zork I maze, getting Starcross as a present when
> I _finally_ lost my first tooth (I lost 'em late...), going on dialup BBSes
> to get help on the Babel fish puzzle (hey, I bet I'm the only person here who
> played HHGTTG before I read the book!).

Heh...Nope. Tough luck, Jake. Not only did I not read the book until after
finishing the game, but I didn't do it earlier than you, I'd wager...

Got the HHGTTG game as an "I can't play this--you're supposed to be the smart one"
quasi-gift from a cousin when I was...twelve, maybe? Then I spent about two years
trying to get through it. Then, on replaying, I noticed the footnote indicating
the book, at which point I dropped everything to run out to the library...

Oh, and I'm 27, for anyone who cares.


Blue

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Mar 1, 2001, 1:11:53 PM3/1/01
to

> Well, I guess it might also depend on their age... I suspect younger
people
> never heard of Zork, for example. As for me, I do not think my first

Wha'? You tink wee iz fik or sumfink?
course we heard o' Zork, it's like Advent; You HAVE to acknowledge it's
existenze instantly.
I got "back" into the IF scene when I was 16, my dad brought his laptop & an
old CD-ROM of
"Infocom Classics" containing HHG, Wishbringer, LGOF & something else on
holiday with the family when I was 14.
I thought they were great, being an avid reader, but never would have
believed the society still existed.
Of course, I new SOME die-hard fans would be around the 'net, because there
are still die-hard fans on the 'net for ANYTHING,
But then I found the community was going ultra-zorg with XYZZY News, Various
web-rings, SPAG, etc. A nice surprise.
And I wouldn't have believed people were still turning the damn things out!
Thus I got interested in the programming aspect aswell.


Stark

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Mar 1, 2001, 5:16:17 PM3/1/01
to
wrote:

>>Robotboy8 wrote:
>>
>>> In the light of some recent posts about IF being mainly aimed at
>>> adults, I thought I was in the minority (I'm in 7th grade...)
>
>>> How old are most of us anyway? No offense meant, and I don't mean for
>>> every RAIFfer to flame me to death about impoliteness, but how many of
>>> us are not yet legal adults, anyway?
>
> I'm a 21 year-old IFer, which would just scrape me in as an adult in
> America, but means I've been a legal adult here in England for a couple
> of years now (pity that I'm teetotal).

[snip]

> Does people's early experience of IF differ depending on where they are
> in the world? Or is (as I suspect) my lack of knowledge purely down to
> my own ignorance?
>

Yes - I grew up in England as well, and didn't know about Infocom games
until reading an article by Graham Nelson in Acorn User. I grew up with
BBC games - Sphinx Adventure, Castle of Riddles, and the wonderful
Magnetic Scrolls games (Jinxter being a favourite).

> Neil Tomlinson (who is currently leaping gaily through the rich pickings
> of IF games, and being constantly amazed and horrified by the high
> standards he has to aspire to).

Yeah, I know. It's very, very annoying as the average quality of games has
improved significantly (in my opinion) over the last five years or so...

Cheers,
Stark (23, if anyone's interested)

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