I wrote this whole essay out as a rant on Discord. But it’s a rant among the category of rants I rant a lot, so after some discussion, I decided also I would post this as an essay. It’s a little unstructured, and stream-of-consciousness, because it’s a rant, but I made a little bit of effort to clean up my thoughts.
So, anyway: A bold statement.
Why do (most) ARGs suck?
… and after playing approximately half the entries today, I don’t think I’m going to be writing longform reviews this year! This is mostly because I feel a little over-involved – I betaed on one game and I’m friends with a few participants. But I’d be lying if I also didn’t mention that I’m more of a parser fan, and the shift toward hypertexts means that a larger amount of this year’s games are not games I feel entirely comfortable reviewing. Maybe I just haven’t figured out yet what I personally want out of a hypertext game lately.
One thing I have tried this year, which has been interesting, is that I’m playing the games on a Microsoft Surface. That means the hypertext games are super-accessible because they don’t require any kind of typing, just click, click. It’s not really my observation to make, but this is a lot more accessible way to enjoy IF than the parser-keyboard setup, especially since the parser, though I love it myself, has never been particularly accessible for people by comparison to clicking. I wonder if we will continue to see more pull toward hypertexts as tablets become the preferred method of home computing.
If you want to check out the games, please go here! http://www.ifcomp.org/comp13/info.php