I don't see why not. The other model in I-F is Softporn Adventure
which was the all-text precursor to Leisure Suit Larry in the Land
of the Lounge Lizards. (I think that the puzzles were all the same
and the only difference was that LSL1 was graphic where SA was
Given that the medium has abandoned treasure hunts in favor of more
diverse goals as the purpose of most games, I don't see where seducing
a MOTAS would be surprising. Whether or not it is in poor taste is
all up to you, of course.
-Matthew, scripting a game for 1997.
Matthew Daly I don't buy everything I read ... I haven't
da...@ppd.kodak.com even read everything I've bought.
My opinions are not necessarily those of my employer, of course.
>Im working on a game that, while not pornographic, would certainly
>be PG-13 or R rated. Im also attempting to stay away from the
>cheesy(admittedly it was inspired cheese ;) ) type descriptions of
>LGOP. Is there much interest in this sort of thing, or am I basically
>doing this for myself?
Yes, I agree with Daly; sounds interesting. I think it might work better as
a narrative addition (IF needs more narrative playfulness, don't you
think?) than as the, y'know, amusing-but-somewhat-tiresome Leisure Suit
Larry fuck-and-get-a-point game philosophy.
[upon entering film mogul D.B. Darling's enormous fish-shaped water-filled
"Max," he boomed, "obnoxiously happy to see you. Come on over."
"You want I should walk on water?" I queried.
"Ixnay on the isecrackway," Leon growled. "Just smile and swim."
>Yes, I agree with Daly; sounds interesting. I think it might work better as
>a narrative addition (IF needs more narrative playfulness, don't you
>think?) than as the, y'know, amusing-but-somewhat-tiresome Leisure Suit
>Larry fuck-and-get-a-point game philosophy.
Woo-Hoo! Sex! Have you played Meretzky's Spellcasting series?
But Steve is good (humorous) at it. Will you be wet or dry? Give it
* Susan * <Sus...@ix.netcom.com>
Every other artistic medium in the universe has accepted that sex can be
part of a story, without being pornography. I think IF can cope.
(Not that there's anything wrong with pornography either. :)
Go for it.
(PS: Yeah, every medium. I have the examples for Saturday-morning-style
cartoons and comic books ready. And puppetry. And Claymation....)
"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
> (PS: Yeah, every medium. I have the examples for Saturday-morning-style
> cartoons and comic books ready. And puppetry. And Claymation....)
Must be canadian Claymation...
I think there is a place in IF for anything which is new and refreshing,
and done in somewhat good taste. Part of what makes IF exciting is all
the new tricks and ideas the authors come up with for their games.
Tastefully done sex in IF would be pretty nifty if done right! You'd
probably also want to somehow get the sex of the player and accomodate
for both a male and female (how about homosexual???) player.
Czech, actually. I was thinking of Jan Svankmeyer's "Darkness, Light,
Darkness." Not exactly sex, but as close as I could think of quickly.
Or make the gender and orientation of the main character (as opposed to
the player) clear at the beginning. Hopefully, players of other
genders/orientations won't be turned off by this ... no pun intended.
Neil deMause ne...@echonyc.com
> Every other artistic medium in the universe has accepted that sex can be
> part of a story, without being pornography. I think IF can cope.
> (PS: Yeah, every medium. I have the examples for Saturday-morning-style
> cartoons and comic books ready. And puppetry. And Claymation....)
--Liza, thinking of ways to, erm, further the appeal of the i-f CD.
MSTie #69957 A maze of twisty little web pages, all alike.
>Every other artistic medium in the universe has accepted that sex can be
>part of a story, without being pornography.
Yes, and every other artistic medium has turned to shit, too. Animals
have no understanding of art.
>I think IF can cope.
Whatever that means.
>(Not that there's anything wrong with pornography either. :)
And who would dare to suggest otherwise?
>Go for it.
Why is this person even seeking corporate approval? He has the
compiler, he has his story--such as it may be--to tell; why is he not
simply writing it?
>(PS: Yeah, every medium. I have the examples for Saturday-morning-style
>cartoons and comic books ready. And puppetry. And Claymation....)
Juvenalia abounds. It's fairly amusing that what is touted as a matter
of "sophistication" and "mature thinking" has such as these to aspire
I mean, what the hell kind of villain thwarts the hero's
progress with soup cans in the kitchen pantry?
Cardinal, I follow up your post in the hopes that some
day I too will be quoted in your sig.
Hey! This isn't what I said! What'd you do with my
But how would you implement it?
Seems to me there's two ways you could go about this. First, as somebody noted,
the 'additional material' way - at certain points of the game you are given an
lengthy prose description of whatever - a la Legend Lives. Which is fine, but
not really that groundbreaking.
Second, and possibly more twistedly, you could code the physical body into
numerous objects and have them interact in interesting ways, defining a number
of strange new verbs in the process. Kind of puts a new meaning to 'containers'
and 'supporters'. Obviously, certain sequences of object manipulation would be
more successful than others (man, does that sound clinical) but that's life.
I'd do it myself, but for some strange reason, I have never been able to write
even a simple sex scene (not even in my novel, which was almost totally about
related subjects) without lampooning the subject mercilessly. The closest I got
was a list of brand names culled from an issue of cosmopolitan, which, when
read aloud, sounded almost like a beast with two backs.
Den (the Casanova of Asexuality)
Is there a place for a discussion of pornography vs erotica in IF newsgroup?
Does it really bother people to play a character of the opposite
Gender? I enjoyed Christminister, and was able to identify with the
character well, even though she was female.
In SHOPPING, the game I am writing, while your gender isnt stated, the
point of the game is to get your girlfriend out of the dressing room
after waiting for her for an hour. Sounds simple, but Itll take you
through uncharted reasons of time and space, into dreamland, to meet
several famous fictional characters. Youll discover why Sheers
salespeople are always so cheerful, and what Veronica(Victoria's older
and kinkier)'s secret really is...
If I get enough feedback, in release two Ill make it so you can choose
your gender, but for at least the first release that the way it is
(mainly cause till I learn inform I dont think I have the talent to
>Been looking over the previous responses to my posts and I want to ask
> Does it really bother people to play a character of the opposite
>Gender? I enjoyed Christminister, and was able to identify with the
>character well, even though she was female.
I've always wondered about this question. It seems to get asked
whenever someone writes a game with a female protagonist. (Not
when someone writes a game with an explicitly male protagonist,
but that's the start of a whole different debate...)
The answer is, pretty consistently, no, it doesn't bother us in the
least. Why should it? We're always playing games with characters
that are things we're not. I'm not an adventurer or a spaceman.
I'm not the Valley King's greatest warrior or a member of the
Meldrew family. I'm not even a Harvard student, and they actually
exist. And yet I've played and enjoyed games about all these things.
So why shouldn't I enjoy a game about a woman?
I think the question is largely based on a misconception: that
adventure games are fundamentally based on wish-fulfillment - that
they are escapist fantasies that let us be the people we want to be.
By implication, then, for a man to enjoy playing a female character
is for that man to enjoy fantasizing about being a woman. This
makes people uncomfortable in a way that a man fantasizing about
being a spaceman does not. However, it is also completely wrong.
Let me see if I can explain why.
Basically, there are two kinds of protagonist: those with traits,
and those without. Colossal Cave, Zork, and most of Scott Adams'
games have the latter sort. There really isn't a character at all -
there's just a command line through which the player interacts with
the simulated environment. Clearly, in this case, it is impossible
to fantasize about being the protagonist, because there is no
protagonist to fantasize about (although it is still possible to
fantasize about being in the world of the game.)
In games where the protagonist has traits, on the other hand,
there is a clear separation between the player and the character,
despite the second-person text. When I play "The Path to Fortune",
for example, I don't really feel like I am Aerin. I identify with
him, but no more than I would if he were the main character in a
novel. He is not a mere tool by which I enter his world. He bears
traits that make him a part of that world - a part over which I
exert direct control, to be sure, but still fundamentally in a
different world than myself. Thus, he is not me. It doesn't take
much to establish this separation, either - the moment a game
mentions my skill at plumbing, or describes a location called "Your
House" that doesn't look like my house at all, it's clear that this
character called "you" is someone other than me. Even if I happen to
possess the traits of the protagonist - say, the game mentions my skill
at programming and contains a location that describes my house pretty
well - the effect is the same. The hero is a fictional character that,
coincidentally, happens to share some traits with me.
The analogy of the novel is rather telling, in fact. When has the sex
of the protagonist of a novel prevented anyone from enjoying it?
Incedentally, you may wonder how a game like Jigsaw fits into this
analysis. Individual response seems to vary. By concealing the name
and sex of the protagonist, it allows one to project oneself into the
fiction. However, for my part, I found that the small amount of
pre-game histroy we got was enough to establish White in my mind as a
part of his world. (The invitation clearly established that he had
been around before the start of the game.)
Carl Muckenhoupt | Text Adventures are not dead!
b...@tiac.net | Read rec.[arts|games].int-fiction to see
http://www.tiac.net/users/baf | what you're missing!
> Does it really bother people to play a character of the opposite
Not at all. I'd like to see even more games get away from the "Default
= Male" philosophy.
But: After gazillions of these games, I am getting a bit tired of
playing someone of a different orientation (protagonists in IF are
invariably straight, I'm not). Granted, in the majority of games this
never comes up, and that's fine. But even LGOP assumed that once your
gender was established, so was your gender-of-interest. JIGSAW looked
promising, and I was getting into that angle of it, but one episode near
the end did establish that you and Black are of different genders.
I'm not trying to reform every IF story in existence, but it would be
nice to encounter a scenario someday that allowed for same-sex
Jon Alan Conrad
Let me guess. There's a Hockey Puck of Grump being passed around this
newsgroup. This week, you've got it.
> >(PS: Yeah, every medium. I have the examples for Saturday-morning-style
> >cartoons and comic books ready. And puppetry. And Claymation....)
> Juvenalia abounds. It's fairly amusing that what is touted as a matter
> of "sophistication" and "mature thinking" has such as these to aspire
Yeah, whatever. Go watch some Svankmeyer.
Actually, I find it quite enjoyable to play games with female protagonists.
_Plundered Hearts_ was very fun, and I entertained myself through much of
_Curses_ by picturing the protagonist as my grandmother when she was in
her 30s. (Her personality fit into the game quite well.)
>I'm not trying to reform every IF story in existence, but it would be
>nice to encounter a scenario someday that allowed for same-sex
Write something! :> I'd certainly love to see it.
This was a good article and I agreed with most of it, but I must
disagree that it's a binary division between the two types of
protagonists. At least for me, it's more of a spectrum. Clearly,
things like Zork and Adventure are at one end, where the main character
is completely nebulous. I haven't really seen any games at the other
end, probably because we just don't have the technology to make a
totally "real person" in the game. Everything else falls somewhere in
the middle, like Aerin, who has various friends, a job, a love interest,
etc, but not any real personality besides what the player gives him.
I don't know about anyone else, but I think when a game causes an
emotional reaction from me, it's not because I feel the consequences
directly, but because I feel bad for making the main chacter do it
(for instance the boy and the pipe in _So Far_), or because I feel bad
that this thing happened to the main character. This suggests that the
best way to make the game more real and moving to the player is not to
increase their identification with the protagonist (by asking for their
gender or the like), but to emphasize the protagonist's reality by
not only having those traits preset, but having them be defined and making
a difference in the world.
Well, this isn't completely true, I guess. One of the things that struck
me about _So Far_ was the incredible loneliness of certain areas (the
autumn world, the silent world). I don't think I was feeling "gee, the
protagonist is a really lonely guy, wandering around all these empty
places", I was feeling "gee, this is really lonely here".
Am I resonating with anyone here? (Actually, I get the sinking feeling
I'm just restating the obvious about characters .. oh well.)
>Carl Muckenhoupt | Text Adventures are not dead!
>http://www.tiac.net/users/baf | what you're missing!
dan shiovitz scy...@u.washington.edu sh...@cs.washington.edu
slightly lost author/programmer in a world of more creative or more sensible
people ... remember to speak up for freedom because no one else will do it
for you: use it or lose it ... carpe diem -- be proactive.
my web site: http://weber.u.washington.edu/~scythe/home.html some ok stuff.
Carl, couldn't agree with you more. When you come right down to
it, playing a game is not really about "being" in the situation, any
more than reading a good book or watching a movie is. What makes the
interaction fun is that you can PROJECT yourself into the title
character just enough to control their actions. You don't have to
really believe that you ARE a beautiful woman lusting after a pirate
ship captain, or a famous detective. Nevertheless, I always take
vicarious pleasure from a novel when the main character is triumphant;
and that is only heightened by the interactive aspect of adventure
I think a good case study is Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie, "Total
Recall". The premise of the movie (well, one of them anyway) is this:
"Yes, it would be fun to take a vacation in an exotic land. But it
would be even MORE fun to take a vacation in an exotic land and become
a different person. You will no longer be the same boring construction
worker that you are in real life, but an exciting and glamorous secret
agent." I think that's what all adventures strive to accomplish:
making you assume an identity which is NOT yourself.
The best games are those which are good at immersing you in the
environment of a totally far-out character who has nothing to do with
you. Like A Mind Forever Voyaging, which IMHO is the greatest text
adventure ever. The reason I enjoyed it so much was because I could so
easily slip into the identity of someone who was so very unlike me. I
could really feel like I had become PRISM, but at the same time, PRISM
had his (its) own identity, its own family and history and upbringing,
and all of these shaped the experience of the story just as much as my
own actions did.
Actually, I like a game which establishes your identity more than
one which plunks you in a situation with no explanation. One of the
few things I disliked about Myst was the total lack of orientation or
motivation regarding who you are and how you got there.
We don't take things out of context in real life. Everything we do
is shaped by our past experiences and our personal desires. And since
everyone has different experiences, a game which only mirrors the
player as the main character has the fundamental shortcoming of not
seeing the player's background. By giving the player a different
character to project instead, you build motivation and draw them into
the story more easily.
I didn't stretch my imagination much in Curses, just played myself
(around whom it worked quite well, right until stuff started getting
accomplished, which proved it *was* fantasy :-) )
I finally had the chance to play through Plundered Hearts and enjoyed
it tremendously :-) Maybe someone can write another one ;-) (Not me,
I can't write like that!)
I also really enjoyed Christminster, both because Christabel was interesting
to play, and it was a nifty story.
This is not to say I didn't enjoy other games, nor that either PH or
Christminster were enjoyable only for their gender decisions, but
it contributed to their appeal (IMO). In a poorly-done game along those
lines, I suspect it would backfire.
Mike Phillips, mi...@lawlib.wm.edu
>(protagonists in IF are invariably straight...
How is it you've determined this, given your own words...
>Granted, in the majority of games this never comes up, and that's fine.
If it never comes up, it seems to me that in, say, Enchanter, you can
be any combination of gender and orientation. At least in Suspended?
Of course, Sherlock and Plundered Hearts don't leave you much choice.
That is all,
: If it never comes up, it seems to me that in, say, Enchanter, you can
: be any combination of gender and orientation. At least in Suspended?
I'd say that the vast majority of games I've looked at assume a male
character, or a male voice. They may not specifically say outright that
you're a boy or a girl, but they're written from a pretty male
perspective. Given that they're nearly all written by men I feel that's
hardly surprising. But, as a lot of feminists argue, much literature
assumes that male characteristics are "neutral" but that female
characteristics are "other". Likewise they assume heterosexuality is
- Neil K.
I'm curious which episode you meant. I went all the way through Jigsaw
and never got jarred out of the "ambiguous" mode. I never saw anything
which specified either gender, separately or relative to each other.
(Except for a couple of parser bugs, which may have been fixed by now.)
erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:
>Jon Conrad (con...@copland.udel.edu) wrote:
>> But: After gazillions of these games, I am getting a bit tired of
>> playing someone of a different orientation (protagonists in IF are
>> invariably straight, I'm not). Granted, in the majority of games this
>> never comes up, and that's fine. But even LGOP assumed that once your
>> gender was established, so was your gender-of-interest. JIGSAW looked
>> promising, and I was getting into that angle of it, but one episode near
>> the end did establish that you and Black are of different genders.
>I'm curious which episode you meant. I went all the way through Jigsaw
>and never got jarred out of the "ambiguous" mode. I never saw anything
>which specified either gender, separately or relative to each other.
I seem to remember that in the Suez chapter, you had a passport showing you and
Black as a honeymoon couple (though which was which wasn't specified). The 1950s
weren't particularly liberal on this kind of thing.
Hmm. Maybe I should go back and replay Jigsaw, to check. What a hardship :-)
Dylan O'Donnell (dyl...@demon.net)
Demon Internet Ltd, Southend slave deck annexe
Aka Psmith (elsewhere). Badger? *urf*
>Is there a place for a discussion of pornography vs erotica in IF newsgroup?
Sure. I read erotica. You read sexually explicit material. S/he reads
> If I get enough feedback, in release two Ill make it so you can choose
>your gender, but for at least the first release that the way it is
>(mainly cause till I learn inform I dont think I have the talent to
Well, if you're a male you probably can't just walk back into the
Usually in IF I don't think of myself as playing the role
of another person, but as being there myself. If the player
character's gender were specified as different from mine,
I would have to modify this attitude somewhat, but I
don't think it would be impossible.
In traditional fiction, I don't have any trouble sympathising
with a main character of the other gender, so I'm sure I
would be able to do the same in IF. I'd just have to think
of my role as more that of a scriptwriter or active
observer than a direct participant.
So I don't think there's anything wrong with fixing the
main character's gender. Just make it clear at the outset,
so the player doesn't have to switch gears part way through.
(Could be embarrassing if you suddenly discovered you had
a lover of the opposite gender to the one you were
It occurs to me that this might be a good place for the
idea of non-first-person prose that was discussed a while
ago, e.g the prompt would be "What should Mary do next?"
and the responses would be "Mary opens her handbag"
instead of "You open your handbag" etc.
But that could be a lot of work to implement, and might
annoy some players who would prefer the usual first-person
viewpoint. Probably it should be an option - even more
work! Don't bother with it unless you're feeling
Hmmm... Perhaps not only the player's gender but that
of all characters in the game should be user-selectable...
George is here, looking appraisingly at Alexandria.
Robin is fuming jealously.
> set gender of George to female
Georgina is here, looking appraisingly at Robin.
Alexandria is fuming jealously.
> set preference of Georgina to female
Georgina is here, looking appraisingly at Alexandria.
Robin is shaking his head in bewilderment.
> Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
> >Is there a place for a discussion of pornography vs erotica in IF newsgroup?
> Sure. I read erotica. You read sexually explicit material. S/he reads
> pornography. :* ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Whatever gave you that idea? Lies. Scurrilous rumours. No foundation in
real fact! O:-)
Iniquity? (Currently reading The War of the Worlds by HG Wells. Forget ID4.)
True... though it does lead to some possible directions for the puzzles:
- Bribing/luring/incapacitating the guard
- Accessing the fitting room via an attached stockroom or
restocking area (and the problems involved in accessing it)
Each of which has someinteresting sexual/erotic possibilities. For example,
if you require the player to get past the guard via transvestitism, do you
make him "passable" enough that he has to fend off advances by the guard?
In the stockroom scenario, do you allow voyeurism? What sort of detail
do you go into? (A personal preference here- if you go into detail about
various other customers, please avoid childish Al Bundy-like references
to fat ladies squeezing into girdles. (Not that some of us don't like a
good description of an ample woman, if done tastefully. :-))
John Ruschmeyer jrus...@csc.com
Computer Sciences Corp.
Eatontown, NJ 07724 908-542-8383