Digital Distractions

Don?t you just love the combination of a quiet Friday and the internet? Let?s roll!

Monkey Island ? The Stage play

You have to admire the mindset of students sometimes. It appears that, for some project work, they?ve taken Ron Gilbert?s seminal masterpiece, wrestled with the Lucasarts legal boys (let?s face it, they don?t care if it?s not Star Wars related) and produced a little blinder!
The site has the play to download in multiple parts and information on other Monkey Island inspired ideas included the recreation of Melee Island? in Lego.

World of Monkey Island

Great Adventure Games

Whilst on the theme of graphical adventures I’d like to point readers to an old article on Adventure Gamer. It details one adventurer’s opinions to produce a Top 20 adventure games chart. Unsurprisingly for a site dedicated to this type of game, it’s got plenty of written information on each game and provides a considerable amount of justification to the running order of the games listed.If you’ve never played an adventure game and are a gamer seeking something a little more thoughtful and substantial than you could do far worse than picking something from this list.

Back in the days before 3D accelerators, 5.1 Dolby Surround and even Windows these games were the staple diet of people who had the brainpower to wrestle with a screen that only showed “C:”. Admittedly, many of the games listed are years old (although that doesn’t stop them from being exceptionally good) – this might mean that the biggest challenge is not beating the game but getting it to run on your system in the first place.

My personal favourite: Grim Fandango

Adventure Gamers’ Top 20 Adventure Games of All Time

And whilst we’re talking about interactive fiction..

“Fa?ade is an artificial intelligence-based art/research experiment in electronic narrative ? an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama. Integrating an interdisciplinary set of artistic practices and artificial intelligence technologies, we have completed a five year collaboration to engineer a novel architecture for supporting emotional, interactive character behavior and drama-managed plot. Within this architecture we have built a dramatically interesting, real-time 3D virtual world inhabited by computer-controlled characters, in which the player experiences a story from a first-person perspective. Fa?ade was publicly released as a freeware download / cd-rom in July 2005.

You, the player, using your own name and gender, play the character of a longtime friend of Grace and Trip, an attractive and materially successful couple in their early thirties. During an evening get-together at their apartment that quickly turns ugly, you become entangled in the high-conflict dissolution of Grace and Trip?s marriage. No one is safe as the accusations fly, sides are taken and irreversible decisions are forced to be made. By the end of this intense one-act play you will have changed the course of Grace and Trip?s lives ? motivating you to re-play the drama to find out how your interaction could make things turn out differently the next time.”

Whilst I’ve yet to actually get my hands on this, it sounds fascinating. This isn’t going to be about looks or any of the typically superficial qualities that lead gaming trends. It appears to be far more subtle and, I hope, more interesting and open ended.


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