For the last seventeen years, the readers of rec.arts.int-fiction have held a yearly interactive fiction competition. For fans of the old Infocom games as well as for newcomers to the genre, the competition is a chance to enjoy some of the best short adventure games available anywhere.
I discovered Interactive Fiction thirty years ago (then called text adventures) when I played Colossal Cave on my dad’s Unix account on the PDP 11/780 at the Monterey Naval Postgraduate school. I fell in love.
A few years later I discovered the amazing text adventure games of Infocom. Still in high school, I wrote to the company and offered to move to Cambridge and sweep their floors if they would let me work there. They wrote me a nice letter that suggested I look them up if I got into MIT as I hoped.
After decades of love for the genre and still mourning the demise of Infocom, I was thrilled anew to discover in 1992 that there was an active community of developers working on what was newly styled Interactive Fiction. The works they were creating for free were more adventurous, more literary, more emotionally engaging, and used the medium to better effect than their luminous predecessors.
In 2012, I served as a judge in the 18th annual interactive fiction competition.