K: What do you see as the future of interactive fiction? It’s older, but now it’s gaining momentum – do you see that continuing?
AR: I certainly hope it continues because I think it’s a very unique storytelling medium that hasn’t been exhausted yet in terms of its potential. I think one thing that it has going for it is that, unlike almost every other computer-based storytelling medium, it’s completely divorced from its technology at this point. You’re starting to see the mainstream games industry get to this spot too, but for years, it was always like everything was constantly being discarded because something with better graphics or whatever else was coming out. If you look at the Super Nintendo as a storytelling medium, game designers only had six or seven years to figure out what that medium could do and what it couldn’t do before it got thrown away for the next new thing. Additionally, it took a much larger team and a much larger investment that made it really hard to do experimental things. The fact is that interactive fiction has had thirty years to develop with the same set of basic rules and limitations; I think that means you’re seeing a lot of really cool, interesting experimental stuff in IF that is much harder to do in mainstream games. Those two things, the fact that IF is totally divorced from the technological arms race and the fact that sole authors can make experimental, interesting stuff with it are both good signs for IF continuing to survive. This year, a lot of awesome stuff is happening – the stuff at PAX and Jason Scott’s Get Lamp documentary (pretty sweet, I think). There’s also an indie gaming site called JS Games that just did a contest for IF with something like a $4,000 prize for the winner. It’s starting to get not just the 100 people in the interactive fiction newsgroup paying attention to it, but a slightly broader audience. For example, college classes are now looking at IF. I can see it starting to gain a little more attraction.