Oh! I love A Party in Woodside by Judy Malloy. A friend of mine and myself spent some time trying to create “choose your own adventure” stories in QBASIC when I was in junior high and as underclassmen in high school. My friends and I all spent a great deal of time online playing text based adventure games, which share some similarities to these stories as well. I really enjoy what Judy Malloy has done here. I love the parallel narratives that are taking place. I followed Jenny and Uncle Roger through the story. It was interesting how clicking on one and then back to the other would result in you either making leaps forward or back in time in relation to the other. The whole experience really gave a temporal and connected feel to the experience and I am afraid I am hooked. I am also planning on going to my father’s house this week to see if I can find any of the old 5.25” discs that we saved our adventure books to. If I can, I will try and compile them and share them here on the blog.
I also enjoyed And the Robot Horse You Rode In On by Anna Anthropy as well. I think that this is a great example of an evolution beyond the concept of Malloy’s work, though I feel as though there is a strength in the search terms listed at the bottom of the work in Malloy’s piece. I like that I can double back and see the event from the perspective of another character and then, using the back navigation button on my browser, go back to the original character’s point of view in a more understandable fashion. That said, the “new Wild West” environment and characters in Anthropy’s story are fascinating and I will be revisiting this piece in the future.
One thought on “Reactions to “And the Robot Horse You Rode In On” & “Party At Woodside””
Jake, I join you in loving Judy’s piece. We read the first file — the Party is just the first part of Uncle Roger — but even without the large narrative payoffs of sticking around, one gets the sense of how the non-linear storytelling enacts formally so many of the sexy themes in this evocative portrait of mid-80s Silicon Valley. Gone is the drug-hazed SoCal Malibu that had been the American obsession of the late seventies. Instead: the nexus of power, money, sex & tech that became a keynote of the mid-80s. It’s ambient, this energy: not yet coherent as a story of “Silicon Valley” as we know it today. I would love to read your early text adventure games. It would be very cool to see them here, and have you walk us through what it meant to you at the time, and how it seems to you now.