Interview: Inky Path

Inky Path is a quarterly literary magazine which seeks to promote interactive fiction as literary medium. Volume 1.1 was released in February.

In this interview with Paper Tape editors Kristy Harding and Harmony Button Inky Path editors Devi Acharya and Irene Enlow talk about founding Inky Path and reading and writing interactive fiction.

PT: What is interactive fiction?

DA: In interactive fiction readers make choices. These choices can alter the course of the story, change the protagonist’s statistics, and help the reader explore the world.

There are two traditional forms of interactive fiction: choose-your-own-adventure stories and text-adventures. In CYOA stories, the reader picks decisions from a list of choices. In text adventures, she types commands (such as >TAKE LANTERN) to move around and manipulate the world.

IE: Interactive fiction can mean many things and that is what makes it such an interesting genre to explore. There is a great deal of diversity in interactive fiction, partly because I think it is a genre that is still evolving. At its most basic level, I think interactive fiction is simply what it sounds like—stories you can interact with. Rather than being a passive reader such as one is when reading a traditional novel or short story, one who reads interactive fiction can take part in the tale. Whether that means that the reader makes decisions for the character, or simply gets a deeper feel for the world and the plot is up to the writer. Every piece of interactive fiction is different and that’s what makes it such an exciting genre to explore.

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