In Short

October 6: GET LAMP Screening

October 14: Nick's Colloquium.

October 21: Reader Event.

October 27: Writer's Workshop.

October 28: Clara's Presentation

In Long

October 6th: GET LAMP Screening

When: 7:30 PM

Where: Tisch AV 304

What: This is a screening of the documentary Get Lamp, introduced by the filmmaker, Jason Scott. As he introduces his film on its website:

In the early years of the microcomputer, a special kind of game was being played.

"With limited sound, simple graphics, and tiny amounts of computing power, the first games on home computers would hardly raise an eyebrow in the modern era of photorealism and surround sound. In a world of Quake, Half-Life and Halo, it is expected that a successful game must be loud, fast, and full of blazing life-like action. But in the early 1980s, an entire industry rose over the telling of tales, the solving of intricate puzzles and the art of writing. Like living books, these games described fantastic worlds to their readers, and then invited them to live within them.

"They were called "computer adventure games", and they used the most powerful graphics processor in the world: the human mind.

"Rising from side projects at universities and engineering companies, adventure games would describe a place, and then ask what to do next. They presented puzzles, tricks and traps to be overcome. They were filled with suspense, humor and sadness. And they offered a unique type of joy as players discovered how to negotiate the obstacles and think their way to victory. These players have carried their memories of these text adventures to the modern day, and a whole new generation of authors have taken up the torch to present a new set of places to explore.

"Get Lamp is a documentary that will tell the story of the creation of these incredible games, in the words of the people who made them.

October 14th: Nick's Colloquium

When: 2:50-4:00 PM

Where: Halligan 111A (get to Halligan)

What: This will a fascinating talk by Nick Montfort, one of the experts in the genre and writer of Ad Verbum. Via the Tufts Computer Science website:

I will discuss my interactive fiction system Curveship, which is designed to allow automatic narrative variation - that is, computer-controlled, parametric changes in the way the story is told. While all interactive fiction provides for computer control over the simulated world, the underlying story or content, Curveship is the first to offer extensive, systematic facilities for controlling the discourse or expression. After explaining why ports of games can be culturally interesting, I will focus on my Curveship port of the canonical first interactive fiction by Will Crowther and Don Woods, Adventure. My version, Adventure in Style, is an unusual if not unprecedented project, combining aspects of Raymond Queneau's book Exercises in Style with the famous game. It was undertaken to help me complete Curveship, as a demo of the system, and as a project that would independently be of interest to the interactive fiction and electronic literature communities.

October 21st: Reader Event.

When: 7:30 PM

Where: VisWall, Anderson Hall (right by the front entrance)

What: Flourish Klink, an MIT Lecturer in the media studies department, will host a reader's event, where attendees can choose and collaboratively play a variety of games placed on projectors in Halligan. Check back soon for the list of games offered.

October 27th: Writer's Workshop

When: 7:30 PM

Where: Big Conference Room, Campus Center

What: This writer's workshop will be led by award-winning interactive fiction writing Andrew Plotkin, one of the central figures in the modern interactive fiction community. If you chose to participate, you will engage Andrew and fellow student writers in discussing your work-in-progress, the unique challenges and opportunities of interactive fiction writing, and the painfully crucial revision process. If you have tried your hand at interactive fiction and want to persue it beyond October, this is your chance to become a stronger writer by getting critiqued by one of the experts.

If you are interested in attending, please send an email to this address by October 26th. Games may be at any stage of development, as long as they have not yet been beta-tested and publically released. Andrew is open to any Interactive Fiction platform you chose for development, although he is most familiar with Inform 6 and 7. After all, what matters exponentially more than the technology used is the dedication to and love for the craft of storytelling.

October 28th: Clara's Presentation

When: 6-7:15 PM

Where: Halligan 111A (get to Halligan)

What: Clara Fernández-Vara will be guest lecturing on storytelling in small games, both Interactive Fiction and otherwise, for Ming Chow's Game Development class. This lecture is open to the public. Clara is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, and you can read more about her and her work here.