Emotion twisting IF (was: damn I've lost the old subject line)

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Den of Iniquity

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Aug 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/28/97
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On Wed, 27 Aug 1997, Neil Brown wrote:

>In article <19970827120...@ladder02.news.aol.com>, Mordacai
><mord...@aol.com> wrote:
>>more importantly, I can't think of any game but a farce which could
>>actually benefit from casting the PC as a gay character.
>
>I can think of thousands, now you mention it. A particularly gruesome
>one would be "Dumped Again - An Interactive Day In The Life Of Neil
>Brown". Actually, come to think of it, that would be a farce after all. :)

Sorry to drag a perfectly good thread off on a tangent, but this throwaway
gag suddenly made me think that if done well, autobiographical or (perhaps
necessarily) semi-autobiographical IF would be a particularly poignant way
to bare one's soul and I'd love to see more daring uses of the medium.

Involve the reader at a more emotional level. I think a couple of last
year's competition entries were heading in the right direction. Who has
been particularly emotionally moved by a piece of IF? (Apart from angered
and frustrated by the parser, of course.) Has any IF forced you to rethink
your opinion on a subject?

--
Den


Andrew Plotkin

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Aug 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/28/97
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Den of Iniquity (dms...@york.ac.uk) wrote:

> Sorry to drag a perfectly good thread off on a tangent, but this throwaway
> gag suddenly made me think that if done well, autobiographical or (perhaps
> necessarily) semi-autobiographical IF would be a particularly poignant way
> to bare one's soul and I'd love to see more daring uses of the medium.

Oh, man, I don't think I could bring myself to do that. Good idea though.

--Z

--

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

Shaken Angel

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Aug 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/28/97
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Adam Cadre (ad...@acpub.duke.edu) wrote:
: Den of Iniquity wrote:
: > Who has been particularly emotionally moved by a piece of IF?

: I can't think offhand of a piece of IF I've found all that emotionally
: affecting, but oddly, I remember being quite moved by, of all things,
: the old 1983 version of Seven Cities of Gold. There was just something
: about it that evoked profound loneliness. Same goes for Starflight.

Starflight, definitely, if I remember correctly -- wasn't that a sort of
space exploration game where at the end you found out that the fuel
crystals you were using for your spaceship were actually sentient beings?

As far as IF goes, I can think of two examples (both Infocom) where I have
been moved -- the sacrifice of Floyd in Planetfall and the parts in
Trinity which dealt with the old Japanese woman.

"Her face is wrong." -- for some reason that always moves me.


- adr

Russell Glasser

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Aug 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/28/97
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Den of Iniquity wrote:
>
> Who has
> been particularly emotionally moved by a piece of IF?

Me! When I played Enchanter, and accidentally killed the turtle
by sending it through the hammer without proper preparation, I felt
horribly depressed and guilty for hours.
Of course, I **was** eleven at the time.

--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Russell can be heckled at
http://www.willynet.com/rglasser

Jonathan Fry

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Aug 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/28/97
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Den of Iniquity (dms...@york.ac.uk) wrote:
: Sorry to drag a perfectly good thread off on a tangent, but this throwaway
: gag suddenly made me think that if done well, autobiographical or (perhaps
: necessarily) semi-autobiographical IF would be a particularly poignant way
: to bare one's soul and I'd love to see more daring uses of the medium.

I have a few pages in my notebook for this same idea. The best way I
could think to do it would be to play through several scenes in my
life, facing the same decisions I faced, and then at the end of the
game receive the message "You are 37% the man Jonathan Fry is" or,
less arrogantly, "You are 37% like Jonathan Fry". Particularly
interesting would be if you chose radically differently than I did,
becoming, for example, a druggie me or a better student me. Sound
ghastly enough?

--Jon

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

Matthew Murray

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Aug 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/29/97
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On Thu, 28 Aug 1997, Adam Cadre wrote:

> Den of Iniquity wrote:
> > Who has been particularly emotionally moved by a piece of IF?
>

> I can't think offhand of a piece of IF I've found all that emotionally
> affecting, but oddly, I remember being quite moved by, of all things,
> the old 1983 version of Seven Cities of Gold. There was just something
> about it that evoked profound loneliness. Same goes for Starflight.

That's true... The original Seven Cities of Gold was so big and
so expansive, that you simply couldn't help but feel tiny, small, and
alone. That really was a weird feeling...

===============================================================================
Matthew Murray - mmu...@cc.wwu.edu - http://www.wwu.edu/~mmurray
===============================================================================
The script calls for fusing and using our smarts,
And greatness can come of the sum of our parts.
From now on, I'm with you--and with you is where I belong!

-David Zippel, City of Angels
===============================================================================


Tredrick14

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Aug 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/29/97
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>
>Adam Cadre (ad...@acpub.duke.edu) wrote:
>: Den of Iniquity wrote:
>: > Who has been particularly emotionally moved by a piece of IF?
>
>: I can't think offhand of a piece of IF I've found all that emotionally
>: affecting, but oddly, I remember being quite moved by, of all things,
>: the old 1983 version of Seven Cities of Gold. There was just something
>: about it that evoked profound loneliness. Same goes for Starflight.
>
>Starflight, definitely, if I remember correctly -- wasn't that a sort of
>space exploration game where at the end you found out that the fuel
>crystals you were using for your spaceship were actually sentient beings?

I think that's the one.

>As far as IF goes, I can think of two examples (both Infocom) where I have
>been moved -- the sacrifice of Floyd in Planetfall and the parts in
>Trinity which dealt with the old Japanese woman.

Yup, I cried when Floyd died. I was despondent when I had to kill him in
Stationfall. I was once asked in a Psychology class "What is the hardest
thing you have ever had to do?" My answer was "Kill Floyd." One other
person had played Stationfall and agreed with me. The rest of the class
thought we could be used as subjects for the abnormal psych class.

>"Her face is wrong." -- for some reason that always moves me.

Yes, the whole story with her is very moving. The Origami, you saving her
life. The umbrella that was never created (it's a paradox you see, like
Kirk's glasses in the Star Trek movies.) Wonderful piece of writing and logic.

I was also somewhat moved by the ending of Wishbringer, where you learn
abou the cat. That was very touching.

I was also moved by the Jill and Mitchell story line in A Mind Forever
Voyaging. That was also very disturbing.

Tapestry also had some emotional impact, though not as much as it could
have. A very good idea which could have been done better. There should
have been more set-up for the lake, something to attach the player to
Sarah. To me killing her was just a way to find out if in the end there
was always Nothing. The death of Alicia hit me a bit more having been
through the loss of a friend recently and being unable to get to the
funeral myself. (Not the best of endings in my book, no matter what you do
life is meaningless. There was also no pay-off to the doctor and the
figure wearing the same pendant as Morningstar.)

Daniel

GraemeCree

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Aug 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/31/97
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>>Starflight, definitely, if I remember correctly -- wasn't that a sort of
space exploration game where at the end you found out that the fuel
crystals you were using for your spaceship were actually sentient beings?
>>

Ouch! I just found an old copy of Starflight and was about to start
playing it. Hope knowing this in advance won't hurt the game too much.

GraemeCree

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Aug 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/31/97
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>>I was once asked in a Psychology class "What is the hardest
thing you have ever had to do?" My answer was "Kill Floyd."
>>

Well then, here's another question for you: How long did it take you
to figure out that you had to kill him?
My recollection is that it only took me a couple of minutes. I had
the gun in my hand; it seemed obvious. I certainly didn't expect it to
work, I expected some error message like "Shoot Floyd! You can't be
serious!", and was very surprised to find that this was in fact what I had
to do. I wonder if other players found this as quickly as I did, or
whether they were reluctant to even try such a thing.

Stu042

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Aug 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/31/97
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In article <19970829165...@ladder02.news.aol.com>,
tredr...@aol.com (Tredrick14) writes:

>Tapestry also had some emotional impact, though not as much as it could
>have. A very good idea which could have been done better. There should
>have been more set-up for the lake, something to attach the player to
>Sarah. To me killing her was just a way to find out if in the end there
>was always Nothing.

Actually, I found that this section of Tapestry had quite an emotional
impact on me; the whole 'telling Sarah about the lake then killing her'
sequence certainly brought a lump to my throat.

Stu

Tredrick14

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Sep 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/1/97
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I remember figuring it our fairly quick too. It seemed obvious, but I
tried everything else first. I thought there might be two endings, one
wher you kill Floyd and one where you can figure out a way to save him.
Well, I hoped there were two endings.

I just found out how to e-mail Mertzkey, I should sue him for emotional
damages.

Tredrick14

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Sep 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/1/97
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>
>Actually, I found that this section of Tapestry had quite an emotional
>impact on me; the whole 'telling Sarah about the lake then killing her'
>sequence certainly brought a lump to my throat.

It might have affected me if we had to play through the lake scene. There
was no meaning to the story, nothing to tie me as the player to sarah.
The whole thing never tried to pull the player into Timothy's life.

LFrench106

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Sep 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/1/97
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That was part of the emotional impact of the game: You were picking up the
pieces of Tim's ruined life.

Luc French
Member of Narnwatch

Tredrick14

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Sep 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/1/97
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>>It might have affected me if we had to play through the lake scene. There
>>was no meaning to the story, nothing to tie me as the player to sarah.
>>The whole thing never tried to pull the player into Timothy's life.
>
>That was part of the emotional impact of the game: You were picking up the
>pieces of Tim's ruined life.

I never liked Timothy. Seeing as I am supposed to be him there should
have been some attempt to show why Timothy was the way he was. My actions
have zero impact on Tim's life. I can do nothing but ruin lives. Maybe
things would have been different if I didn't follow Morningstar's path
first, but the first thing I learned is that Tim's life is sad and pathetic
and I can do nothing about it. You aren't picking up any pieces you are
just scattering them around some more and learing that life is meaningless.

It would have been better if you could pick a different philosophy for
each scene and actually affect things. And Why the Hell did Morningstar,
the doctor and the "figure" all where the same pendant? I thought
Morningstar would turn out to be a cosmic villain or manipulator or
something., but there is no payoff for this. (This jaded me toward the
other two paths after following Morningstar's advice.)

JID

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Sep 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/1/97
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I have to bring up Trinity again here. I've been emotionally affected by
various pieces of IF at various times, but none so lastingly and in so
many different ways as Trinity. The bits with the girl/old lady and
Wabewalker especially (to avoid giving spoilers). I'm a sucker, to begin
with, for stories to do with mucking around with time, and then the
beautiful, sort of "backwards" way you find out about the old woman is one
of the best "puzzles" in the whole canon, in my opinion. I say "puzzle,"
in quotes, because while there are puzzles associated with her, when I
figured out what happened it was more like having an epiphany than solving
a puzzle. And then of course the ending, when you win but don't really
win...that bit about "going to find a soccer ball" and the final double-
or triple-meaning statement get me every time. I always walk away from
that game with this knot in the pit of my stomach.

Joey

****************************************************
American Gothic fanatic or just a tourist in Trinity?
Read The Trinity Guardian: http://www.best.com/~owls/AG/
****************************************************
Guildenstern: He's -- melancholy.
Player: Melancholy?
Rosencrantz: Mad.
Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can't help that, we're all mad here.
(From "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in Wonderland")
****************************************************
Johanna "Joey" Drasner: owls @ best . com (San Francisco)
****************************************************

Jason Compton

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Sep 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/1/97
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Adam Cadre (ad...@acpub.duke.edu) wrote:
: I can't think offhand of a piece of IF I've found all that emotionally
: affecting, but oddly, I remember being quite moved by, of all things,
: the old 1983 version of Seven Cities of Gold. There was just something
: about it that evoked profound loneliness. Same goes for Starflight.

Starflight a big yes (Starflight II makes you feel all cozy and crowded,
though) although Seven Cities just made me feel indignant. (What do you
MEAN my performance has only been fair?)

--
Jason Compton jcom...@xnet.com
Editor-in-Chief, Amiga Report Magazine Anchor, Amiga Legacy
http://www.cucug.org/ar/ http://www.xnet.com/~jcompton/
I swear I saw your face change.. ..it didn't seem quite right.

Bryan Durall

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Sep 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/2/97
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Tredrick14 (tredr...@aol.com) wrote:
> It would have been better if you could pick a different philosophy for
> each scene and actually affect things. And Why the Hell did Morningstar,
> the doctor and the "figure" all where the same pendant? I thought
> Morningstar would turn out to be a cosmic villain or manipulator or
> something., but there is no payoff for this. (This jaded me toward the
> other two paths after following Morningstar's advice.)

Do you know what 'Morningstar' is in Latin?

- Bryan
--
Bryan Durall | dur...@ewl.uky.edu, dur...@cslab.uky.edu, dur...@mik.uky.edu
"Then as it was / So again will it be
Though the course may change sometimes / Rivers always reach the sea. . ."
- Led Zeppelin, "Ten Years Gone", 1975

Tredrick14

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Sep 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/2/97
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>
>Do you know what 'Morningstar' is in Latin?


Nope. I do know it is a wicked weapon though.

Daniel

Magnus Olsson

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Sep 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/2/97
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In article <19970902095...@ladder02.news.aol.com>,
LFrench106 <lfren...@aol.com> wrote:
>>And "Light Bringer" in Latin is "Lucifer".
>
>Actually, "Lucas" (my name) is Latin for "The bringer of light".

This is quite possible.

>"Lucifer"
>means "Morning Star" which IS the latin name for Venus (if memory serves).

On the other hand, "Lucifer" does *not* mean "morning star" in Latin
("star" is "stella" or "aster"; I don't know what the genitive of
"morning" is). It's a *name* for the morning star, but it does mean
"light bringer" or "bearer of light".

For example, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says, about "Lucifer":

Etymology: Middle English, the morning star, a fallen rebel archangel,
the Devil, from Old English, from Latin, the morning star, from
lucifer light-bearing, from luc-, lux light + -fer -ferous
Date: before 12th century
1 -- used as a name of the devil
2 : the planet Venus when appearing as the morning star
3 not capitalized : a friction match having as active substances
antimony sulfide and potassium chlorate

(To those who really want to split hairs about the difference between
"bearing" and "bringing": don't. The Greek verb "phero", cognate with
English "to bear", means both "I bring" and "I carry", and I'm almost
certain that the Latin cognate does as well.)


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

Magnus Olsson

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Sep 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/2/97
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In article <5uftds$r5g$1...@service3.uky.edu>,

Bryan Durall <dur...@ewl.uky.edu> wrote:
>
>Tredrick14 (tredr...@aol.com) wrote:
>> It would have been better if you could pick a different philosophy for
>> each scene and actually affect things. And Why the Hell did Morningstar,
>> the doctor and the "figure" all where the same pendant? I thought
>> Morningstar would turn out to be a cosmic villain or manipulator or
>> something., but there is no payoff for this. (This jaded me toward the
>> other two paths after following Morningstar's advice.)
>
>Do you know what 'Morningstar' is in Latin?

To which Tredrick14 replied that he didn't, but he knew that it was a
weapon.


But no, it's not that kind of a morningstar.

Sort of a spoiler for "Tapestry" ahead:

The morning star is Venus, and one of the Latin names for Venus (the planet)
is the light bringer.

And "Light Bringer" in Latin is "Lucifer".

--

LFrench106

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Sep 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/2/97
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>>Do you know what 'Morningstar' is in Latin?
>
>
>Nope. I do know it is a wicked weapon though.

One of the Biblical prophets (Ezekiel et. al. (I forget which)) (according
to one theory) made a humorous refrence to a king of the day by saying "Oh,
star of the morning, how you have fallen." (This was an obtuse refrence to
a picularity of Venus' orbit, according to this theory) This was
interprited later in history to refer to another character in the
Judao/Christian mythos. Now, if you have any understanding of the basic
concepts of Judao-Christian stories, you should be able to guess who this
"Star of Morning" (or Morning Star) is...

SPOILERS BELOW


I
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W
A
R
N
I
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Y
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U

N
O
W

SPOILERS BELOW

I
'
M

W
A
R
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I
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G

Y
O
U

A
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A
I
N

Morningstar's latin translation is "Lucifer."

If you refer to Morningstar by that name, you get an interesting response.

LFrench106

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Sep 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/2/97
to

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S

F
O
R

T
A
P
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S
T
R
Y

>And "Light Bringer" in Latin is "Lucifer".

Actually, "Lucas" (my name) is Latin for "The bringer of light". "Lucifer"


means "Morning Star" which IS the latin name for Venus (if memory serves).

Don't ask me to explain. Just look it up sometime in a Good encyclopedia.
It should list the confusing history of Lucifer as an alias for Satan.

Jason Compton

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Sep 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/3/97
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Adam Cadre (ad...@acpub.duke.edu) wrote:
:
: Jason Compton wrote:
: > Starflight a big yes (Starflight II makes you feel all cozy and

: > crowded, though) although Seven Cities just made me feel indignant.
: > (What do you MEAN my performance has only been fair?)
:
: Oh, yeah! Apparently this was a problem for lots of people because in
: the 90's update the Crown handed out promotions like a cult member
: handing out pamphlets. In the 80's version, you could discover every
: damn pixel of the New World, conquer the Aztecs and the Incas, and give
: the Crown any number of sexual favors and they'd =still= say your
: performance was fair at best. Grrrrr.

Going blissfully off-topic here...

I always thought the game Pirates! was a good balance between reward and
challenge. You were pirating, not exploring per se, and could get decent
recognition for your efforts without it being TOO easy.

The change in the update doesn't surprise me, the classic Electronic Arts
games always get mangled (or attempted mangling) in recreations. (the
attempted mangling came when they wanted to release a new MULE, replete
with bombs. Bunten refused.)

a mind forever wandering

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Sep 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/5/97
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A message from Tredrick14 came in over my message line:

> I remember figuring it our fairly quick too. It seemed obvious, but I
> tried everything else first. I thought there might be two endings, one
> wher you kill Floyd and one where you can figure out a way to save him.
> Well, I hoped there were two endings.

Killing Floyd was _so_ hard. I pretty much knew I was supposed to do it
(or at least try it) but I didn't want to, so I wouldn't for ages.

AMFW (sniffle)

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