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Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (MIT Press) Paperback – February 11, 2005
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Twisty Little Passages is, quite simply, one of the best books on hypermedia, period. This book not only made me reconsider the importance of interactive fiction as a genre within hypermedia, it also made me devote a hefty portion of my graduate courses to IF -- and Twisty Little Passages. Hell, after reading it, I even went out and bought every Infocom title I could lay my hands on. It's that good.(J. Yellowlees Douglas, author of The End of Books or Books Without End: Reading Interactive Narratives and I Have Said Nothing)
This is a thoroughly researched history of interactive fiction, as well as a brilliant analysis of the genre. Reading it makes me itch to fire up that old DEC-20 and start writing interactive fiction again!(Steve Meretzky, Creative Content Director, WorldWinner.com, and interactive fiction pioneer)
Nick Montfort's excellent book puts interactive fiction into its literary context for the first time. Just as groundbreaking studies of romance and the gothic novel have broadened our idea of literary fiction, so Montfort makes a powerful case for recognition of this extraordinary new form of art: of the poetry that must live within the machine. Newcomers will find all that they need here, while those who are already aficionados will be constantly informed and surprised.(Graham Nelson, St. Anne's College, Oxford University, author and critic of interactive fiction)
Anyone interested in the use of technology for artistic and cultural purposes should crack open Twisty Little Passages.(Book Bytes)
About the Author
Nick Montfort is Assistant Professor of Digital Media at MIT. He is the author of Twisty Little Passages: A New Approach to Interactive Fiction and the coeditor of The New Media Reader, both published by The MIT Press.
Jean-Charles Rochet is Professor of Mathematics and Economics at the University of Toulouse School of Economics.
Indra de Soysa is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Political and Cultural Change, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. He has recently published articles in Journal of Conflict Resolution, American Sociologica lReview, and Journal of Peace Research. His research topics are the causes of civil violence, the economic and social effects of globalization, and the political economy of governance. He has a book forthcoming entitled Foreign Direct Investment, Democracy, & Development: The Contours, Correlates, and Concomitants of Globalization.
Top Customer Reviews
What I needed was Nick Montfort's TWISTY LITTLE PASSAGES. How strange and funny that ten years later, the paper I wrote for that class finds itself cited in the first book-length academic treatment of interactive fiction. Sure, the citation only occurs in a passing (and correct) dismissal of reader-response theory as anything but a very limited way into talking about IF, but it makes me feel like part of history nonetheless. Montfort's book is just what IF needs to establish its rightful place the scholarly discourse surrounding electronic literature, and indeed literature, full stop. It never fails to be informative, and frequently succeeds at being sharply insightful about the literary elements of IF.
However, TWISTY LITTLE PASSAGES is quite suitable for readers outside the ivory tower as well.Read more ›
Throughout the book is a history of interactive fiction and its development through the eighties and nineties. It also analyzes the comparisons between hypertext fiction and interactive fiction and the inequalities in how the two or treated. If you can't guess, interactive fiction isn't treated very well.
Montfort seems to have an axe to grind, citing shoddy research that conflates certain interactive fiction as being fantasy adventure games and confuses the origins of Adventure (or ADVENT). Montfort corrects all these misperceptions and more through personal interviews with Will Crowther, creator of Adventure, and Dave Lebling, one of the creators of Zork.
Twisty Little Passages seeks to redress these inconsistencies, positing that interactive fiction is more than just a game but a form of literature in its own right. Montfort makes a convincing argument, but then as an administrator of RetroMUD for over a decade, I'm one of the converted. It's unlikely that literature snobs are reading his book.
Although occasionally defensive in tone, Montfort's retrospect and analysis of interactive fiction is a welcome addition to any game developer's library. It's important to know what went before, and this book addresses an important part of gaming history that has been all but forgotten.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is very scholarly, and very dense. If you're just looking for a casual history of the genre, you won't find it here. Read morePublished on May 3, 2014 by David E. Smith
This is certainly an informative book, no question. It delves into some of the greats of Interactive Fiction but it reads like a PHD thesis, and if that's the kind of reading... Read morePublished on March 25, 2008 by Sean Huxter