Postmodernism? How unseemly!

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Nov 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/20/99
Well, I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to play my game and write
a review - be it two lines or two pages - of it: thanks especially to those
who took a bash at it for the first time, such as Tomas Clark and Mike
Snyder. Well, it's been a good Comp. Perhaps there was no Babel or Edifice or
Photopia - but the competition was all the keener for that. I'd like to take
this space to thank those reviewers who were frank enough to admit that my
game (whatever its virtues) wasn't to their taste: I admire all of them for
it. I think I knew that it wasn't going to be a game for all seasons when I
wrote it, so I'm not disappointed. Of course, some people didn't get round to
playing it - but with 37 games, even _I_ still have about nine to complete,
so I can't complain. However, there's just one thing I'd like to clear up:
one or two reviews said the game had post-modern trappings. I found that
comic and ironic, because though chronologically I _am_ post-modern, as far
as writing is concerned, I go way back: pre-modern, reactionary, retro, call
it what you will. Of course, that's only my (subjective) opinion, but I'd
like to assure you I (at least consciously) did nothing of the kind. Sam
Barlow hit the nail on the head quite astutely when he pointed out that I was
trying to disown any artistic value in my game, because I was. I saw it
primarily as an entertainment, and yet there were several points in the story
where I was tempted (yes, I was) to try and do something _significant_. I can
only thank my stiff upper lip that I didn't. :)

[By the way, I know this sounds extremely lame and apologetic after that
impassioned post about emotional honesty. But Halothane wasn't really about
emotion - except, perhaps, hope, regret and nostalgia in varying proportions
- so I have no real grounds for complaint.]

Also, thanks to all of you who pointed out technical flaws in the game. Now,
on to a more important subject: Reviews!! I've written full-length reviews of
22 games, with six more or so in the works, and they'll be appearing fairly
soon. The tone of these will vary between cranky and downright admiring, but
I guess you're used to that. Let me start with a review that wasn't:

SKYRANCH, Jack Driscoll (Unrated): I tried to run this game in DOS. Crash. I
tried it in DOS without drivers. Louder crash. I tried it in DOS under
Windows. No points for guessing what happpened. However, I did browse the
text a bit (you can do so with most DOS executables, using a text editor in
binary mode) and a lot of the fighting text seemed contrived; besides, there
were hints that this was going to be One Of 'Em Homebrew Parser Games. (I
have nothing against homebrew parsers - I was just remembering The Commute.)

- Q.

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