Text Club is like a bi-monthly book club for interactive fiction. We choose three interactive fiction games every 2 months to play and then discuss — play for a month, then chat for a month. Each session also has an audio/podcast discussion with a different guest. Hit the “now playing” link in the header to see what is up and browse through the archives.
Why not just one game?
Artworks are best analyzed in relation to other work, and if we all agree on a few specific works, we’ll have a shared context to do that.
Why not two, then?
Comparisons involving only two things encourage boring binary thinking.
You don’t think that will be too much, though?
So far so good. We try to limit the total required play time by choosing one long game and two short ones or something.
How do we pick the games?
We keep a public list of games we want to play together in a google spreadsheet. I choose the games we’ll play each time from that list and elsewhere.
What counts as “interactive fiction”?
Let’s keep it as open-ended as we can. Parser-driven text adventures, Twine, old Infocom games, ’90s hypertext net.art, choose-your-own-adventure-style gamebook PDFs …
How do we discuss the games?
Let’s discuss them in comments on this here website. Each session has an announcement post & a discussion post (with the podcast recording) — comment anywhere you like! We set aside every other month for discussion. Prior to that, we to help each other with technical issues, hints, etc., but we’ll give everyone time to get through the games before starting the conversation in earnest.
What about an email list?
Man nobody wants more email right now.
What about a chat room?
Unlike a chat room, this comment thread system is asynchronous, so our schedules don’t have to sync up & it’s easier for people with small kids, etc. who have trouble blocking out a chunk of time without distraction.
If you have any other questions or ideas, just holler! You can leave a comment here & I’ll see it, or cash me on twitter at @_never_work