Textual Healing

Riding the train home today, I started reminiscing about my childhood and some of the first games I played on our Apple II. Remember this was about 1980 and high quality, graphically stunning FPS games were not the norm, but the text based adventure was.

I read an article in the November issue of Games for Windows, while I cannot recall the title of the article or the author, it was really about the start of the gaming industry and how some of those text based games have survived and continue to thrive in a large, online community.

Today, I read another article in the industry insider, Game Developer about text based adventures and the MMO[RPG]. One of the earliest memories I have was not a classic like, Zork or Wishbringer, but the precursor to Leisure Suit Larry called Softporn Adventure. Of course at 11 years of age, I had no idea what this “game” was about. Call me naive, but I soon learned.

I have not been very impressed with the onslaught of trendy FPS shooters that are franchised and continued to be released based on the fantastic looking graphics, more so than slick, top notch game play. While impressed with Half-Life 2, the sequels are “more of the same” when it comes to continuing the story, more so than solving puzzles and completing the adventure.

I have decided to take a break from any of the new fandango games and get back to the root of computer gaming by playing some of the classic text based adventures. Games like Zork, Planetfall and Wishbringer are just a few of the titles I have downloaded and started to immerse myself in letting my imagination paint the pictures rather than a development team. Much like reading a good book, text based adventures still hold much value when it comes to gaming as a whole.

Now I know text based adventures are not for everyone. Why in the hell would you run a “cutting edge of technology” system only to fall back to DOS and text based adventures? For me the answer is simple. I want something out of my gaming experience. That something has been missing for a long time when it comes to the generic FPS shooter. I don’t want some developer telling me how a situation looks or feels when I can use my imagination and create my owe visual stimulation from what I read.