In Week 3 of a six-part series, Critical Code Studies contributors spelunk the mysteries of Colossal Cave Adventure, a seminal text adventure game. Delving into close readings of the original FORTRAN code, the group plots the twisty passages linking media theory, deconstruction and philosophies of programming.
John Tynes argues that it took the novel two hundred years to gain cultural capital; film, forty years; rock and roll, fifteen. Given this increasing velocity and the fact that it’s been three decades since Colossal Cave Adventure, interactive storytelling should have gained a much higher level of respect than it has. Tynes argues that games should eschew escapist fantasy for more timely “engagist” settings that would allow the player to reflect on contemporary life and politics.