Racontons une histoire ensemble: History and Characteristics of French IF

Over at The Portal (which has other interesting, international SF articles as well), they posted an article from the Second Annual Interactive Fiction Mini-Convention entitled Racontons une histoire ensemble: History and Characteristics of French IF (1, 2) by Hugo Labrande. Here’s an exerpt:

As pointed out by a few critics, among them Jeremy Douglass,[4] the dominance of English in interactive fiction means that most of the histories of the genre are centered around works written in English and thus mention Infocom games as the canon of interactive fiction, from which everything else was derived, and acknowledge them as a major influence, if not the biggest. But as noted by some, while Infocom games were a huge success in North America, their success in other countries where they were also available varies greatly. Therefore, how can we talk of a history of interactive fiction that mentions Infocom as a major influence when every other community grew up without Infocom games? As a matter of fact, each other language community has its own history—one could say parallel histories—of the development of interactive fiction. Those histories are certainly interesting, as they might, for example, provide other perspectives about the market of interactive fiction (did IF die with the fall of Infocom, or was that a more general trend of the video game market?) and also give the opportunity to those communities to establish themselves as independent communities with their own interactive fiction culture.

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