So, at my own academic peril, I just re-read Ender's Game . A helluva tale, everything you could want in a piece of science fiction and perfect, I think, for middle schoolers. There are two important games in the book. One is a fantasy game that all the cadets in battle school play on their memex-like "desks" which are essentially laptops that you put yourself into, similar to old fashioned cameras where the photographer got under a curtain.
i have found these games really, really frustrating. it's not at all intuitive what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do. it seems like there's a logic to the games that you have to get used to, and it's a very different from how i usually think. i can imagine this sort of game being really, really cool with a better parser, but these early versions make me want to kill the computer. actually a bunch of times i tried to kill random objects out of anger ("kill rainbow," "kill grating,") and the game made some smart-ass remarks. that was probably the most fun part so far.
I found an amazingly scintillating plot map of one of those "choose-your-own-adventure" books (and apparently I wasn't the only one to find it :) ) drawn out courtesy of Andrew Stern in a blog post on Grand Text Auto that definitely takes me back to the days of my youth:
I was looking through Henry Jenkins blog when I noticed an article called " Are games art?