My love of interactive fiction is tied to my childhood desire to enter every book I read, a la Thursday Next in the Jasper Fforde’s series. Sure, it’s fun to read about Hogwarts in the same way it’s nice to peruse other people’s pictures on Facebook, but I wanted to go to Hogwarts, even if it meant having to write many meters of essays on parchment and get attacked by Voldemort at least once a year. I wanted to go to Narnia and Middle Earth, not just read about the great time other fictional people were having there.
While I accepted that getting to Hogwarts, Narnia, or Middle Earth may prove impossible, the next best thing would be to get a little agency as a character in said story and get to influence the course of events.
Enter interactive fiction, which places the player firmly in the middle of the story.
While there is plenty of interactive fiction set in newly-created worlds, other authors are choosing to dive into the classics and bring them to life. Inkle made Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days come alive with their 2014 hit 80 Days, while Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be allows readers to become Hamlet.
Nocked! is an upcoming interactive fiction story that puts the reader in Sherwood Forest. As the Kickstarter states, the game will have you “build your base, recruit merry men, and defeat the Sheriff of Nottingham in this lushly-illustrated story-driven text-based RPG.” I cannot wait. It comes out June 2017, though beta access can be purchased through the Kickstarter for March 2017.
Which book would you like to enter?