In Formation

I’ve been musing about possibly teaching interactive fiction (writing it) to a group of kids at the local library. Seems like it might be a lot of fun! So I’ve been learning Inform 7, which is the obvious top choice as a language for them to learn.

I’ve wondered about including adults in the class too, but after last night I’m not so sure. Once a month, on a Saturday evening, a friend of mine hosts a “literary salon.” It’s an open mic sort of thing for writers: Anyone who wants to read has up to ten minutes to share their poetry or prose. After listening to several readers last night — and these are people who care enough about writing first to sit down and do it, and then to show up and share it — I’m not sure adults have enough imagination to write interactive fiction.

Most of the participants in the salon can at least assemble sentences and paragraphs with some measure of coherence. But their writing is so timid! I heard nothing last night that took flight, soared, stirred my imagination.

I mentioned to them that I’m thinking about teaching computer-based interactive storytelling, and that there are some great new tools for doing this sort of work. During the break, nobody asked me for more information. I could almost hear the wheels turning: “I’m writing what I feel like writing. Why should I learn anything new?”

Most of the participants in the salon are old. That may have something to do with it.

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2 Responses to In Formation

  1. kooneiform says:

    I was wondering the other day how the IF workshop is doing? Have you guys taken a break?

  2. midiguru says:

    The workshop is not active at present. A couple of workshopped games made it into this year’s Comp, and I think the experience may have been useful for some people. If no one else starts one, I may do it again next year.

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