Interactive Fiction

1.) This type of attention would be deep attention. I was so focused on thinking of different ways to ask questions I was locked in on different ways to move the conversation along, I was mesmerized. In the same way a puzzle captivates your attention, interactive fiction draws you into a different world where all you can think of is solving the problem.

2.) Interactive fiction is different from a short story because of the fact that you are forced to move the story along yourself as opposed to simply following along. Without intense critical thinking you wouldn’t even be able to read a story. It is easy to get distracted by other thoughts while reading, I often times think about what is going on in my life if the story isn’t particularly captivating. With the interactive fiction, there is inherent engagement with the text, making it more difficult to be distracted by outside stimuli.

3.) My commands basically consisted of saying A____ with a single word moving the conversation along inch by inch


“Hello,” you say — and stop. What would you say next? ‘I’m a famous critic, be on your best behavior’? There’s no etiquette established; and then it strikes you as strange that you should bother to be concerned.

Fortunately, the little awkwardness is lost on her. “Good of you not to walk away again,” she replies.

>you are boring
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>I am your biggest fan
I only understood you as far as wanting to inventory.

Your mind is a blank slate.

You become aware of her breathing — the slight expansion of her ribs, the soft exhalation — natural, and yet somehow studied. “Ah — by the way,” she says, in a way that utterly fails to be casual, “have you seen the artist out there? — My artist, that is.”

“No, I don’t think so. What does your artist look like?”

“Black hair,” she says, and stops… “Never mind. He’s not here. He wouldn’t have come.”

>how come
That’s not a verb I recognize.

That’s not a verb I recognize.

>they are here
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>you are beautiful
That’s not a verb I recognize.

That’s not a verb I recognize.

>A Artist
A pause. “I don’t know where he is,” she observes. “Or who, or what, for that matter. He sold me immediately after my waking. While he was carving me, there was no strangeness, but afterward…”

>A afterward
“Strangeness? What sort of strangeness?”

“He avoided me. He was uncomfortable; he wouldn’t meet my eye. He wouldn’t speak to me. I asked him questions — I had just discovered how to speak, but for hours I thought I was getting it wrong, since he gave no sign… Finally I made him talk to me, and he told me that he didn’t want me to be alive. He hadn’t made me to be alive. He asked me, in fact, if I would go back to being a statue.”

She turns — not her whole body, just her head, so that you can see one ear behind the cascade of hair. “I said no. I didn’t think it would help. And he sent me away. He didn’t want me to be near him, if I couldn’t be the way he had made me.”

>A me
“What do you know about me?” you ask. (They told her you were coming; does that mean you, or some abstract viewer? Are you really the first, this evening, to have rounded this particular corner?)

“Nothing,” she says, “other than that you have come to look at me.”

>A can I
You can’t form your question into words.

>A life
“What do you know about life?” you ask her. (General questions: you can almost always find ones that haven’t been anticipated.)

“Nothing,” she says, “except what I saw of his; and that seldom made any sense to me. He told me that people are born, and that they die, and that there are stages in between– childhood, adolescence… I asked him why he didn’t carve me as a child so that I could grow up.” There’s a pregnant pause. “I never heard him laugh so hard as when I asked him that. And he said that I certainly had the brain of a child.”

The air stirs, cool on your cheek.

>A laughter
You can’t form your question into words.

>A death
Her head moves — as though she were going to turn and look at you properly — but then she thinks better of it. “Mine? Or yours?”

Before you can answer, she lifts one shoulder in a delicate shrug. “It doesn’t matter which you mean, since I know nothing about either. You will go your way when the time comes; and I– Who can die who is not alive?”

>A alive
You can’t form your question into words.

>A conscious
You can’t form your question into words.

>A love
“Were you in love with him?”

She turns to face you, in a rustle of resettling skirts.

“I know I loved him,” she answers. “And there was a time when I might even have said that he loved me, too. Things seemed simpler before I began to move, before I woke up. I didn’t realize that you could loathe your own creation.”


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