Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Alex Warren is the creator of the Quest text adventure game system, a free and open source authoring tool for text adventures. You don’t need any programming experience to get started with it, and it can run entirely in a web browser so you don’t even need to download anything. The system is open and hackable, with a core library written in Quest itself which defines the default behaviour – so you can change fundamental things about how the system works, even without going into the source code. Tablets and smartphones are the natural home for interactive fiction – and it’s only in the last few years that these devices are in everybody’s pockets. People are used to taking their phone out of their pockets to play with something for a few minutes, and text adventures can perfectly fill that need. Apps can bring text adventures where they belong – in front of people who want to read, wherever they are. And HTML5 opens up a lot of possibilities for experimenting…

Text Adventures Blog

Cross-posted to Gamasutra. This blog post is based on part of my AdventureX talk from December – hopefully a video of that will be available soon.

Every couple of weeks, it seems, another games journalist writes an article about how they’ve rediscovered the long lost art of the text adventure game. After a few minutes looking through Wikipedia, they write an article which will inevitably talk about green screens, clattering keyboards, and grues. Then they will talk about a somehow thriving yet hidden “scene” of people who are still creating and sharing these games like some kind of long-forgotten tribe that had been cut off from the rest of the civilised world.

As the creator of a text adventure engine, Quest, these pop up in my Google alerts with tedious regularity. They are so boring and predictable. And more importantly, they are utterly short-sighted.

Many people think of…

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  1. Making Interactive Fictions in Classrooms | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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