While I’m on the topic of games and IF with educational or persuasive value, I should mention (though I’m not sure how to place it relative to everything else) the State of the Union explorer. It allows the reader/player/experiencer to explore statistical information about the State of the Union addresses, discovering which words gain and lose prominence in political consciousness, and comparing any two specific years in overlay.
Lately I’ve played a few rounds of Electrocity, a simulation game by a New Zealand power company in which the player gets to manage the power supply for a young city. It’s designed to be played by school kids, so the interface is deliberately a bit simpler than for most sim games, but otherwise it basically works in a familiar way: you have various resources, and you can build things (mines, gas wells, airports, hydro-electric plants) and clean them up. At the end of the game, you’re scored on how well you did at building a large population, a clean environment, and a steady power supply.
Stephen Bond recently (very recently, I think) posted an essay on player freedom, essentially arguing that IF shouldn’t be about offering the player moral choice, and that not forcing the player to make a specific choice is a kind of artistic abdication, giving up the opportunity (or the responsibility) to Say Something.
Now I’m about to disagree with him, at some length.
Over the weekend I played and quite enjoyed Adventurer’s Consumer Guide by Oyvind Thorsby. I will probably publish a longer review later, but for now I want to mention it because it doesn’t seem to be getting much notice on the newsgroups, which is a pity. It’s a game of the light-hearted, puzzle-centric type: the puzzles are good, the game is very soundly tested, and there are lots of nifty easter eggs.
Another item of interest only to I7 users doing multimedia stuff:
I have made some updates to the I7 syntax document to reflect changes in the latest build of Inform, including changed names of action rules, and some new syntax for defining variables that apply only during the duration of a rulebook/activity/action.