Emily Short

Emily Short has been playing interactive fiction since the early 1980s, and writing it since 1998. Her work includes Galatea, an interactive conversation; Savoir-Faire and Metamorphoses, games exploring systems of physical magic; and City of Secrets, a story with a complex branching plot. With Nick Montfort and Dan Shiovitz, she ported and re-engineered Sierra's Mystery House in a project sponsored by Turbulence.org. She has written a number of articles on designing interactive fiction and is the editor of a book on IF theory and craft (in progress). She is also assisting Graham Nelson with the development of Inform 7, a new programming language for creating IF.

Essays by this author

On Savoir-Faire


Emily Short explains that one of the goals of Savoir-Faire is to teach the player to become a magician. This pedagogical orientation means that - in contrast to interactive fictions that allow only a severely limited range of player input - Short’s game rewards undirected play because the player is not only solving puzzles, but also learning.

The Unit Is in the Eye of the Beholder


Emily Short interrogates Ian Bogost’s Unit Operations and finds his approach to videogame criticism too capacious in its attempt to account for a variety of expressive media, and too narrow in its focus on low-order choices in videogames.