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2006 January archive at WRT: Writer Response Theory

Archive for January, 2006




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P.J. Hruschak’s Timeline of notable video game villians (2006-01-18) has a whimsical “evolutionary highlight of evil” angle. The first three entries are

1958-76 The Dot (Pong)
1977 The Word ‘GRUE’ (Zork)
1978 2D Monochromatic Aliens (Space Invaders)

Hruschak uses a 1977 development date for Zork (rather than the mass commercial release, 1980) in order to get a nice evolutionary […]


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Following up on the recent discussion of IF news, here is a grab-bag of digital text art news items. Our general practice at WRT is to add interesting articles to our bookmark feed as we find them (del.icio.us/wrt), but only blog on when we have substantial commentary. We may experiment with writing a monthly […]


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Last November, Vauhini Vara’s Wall Street Journal article on contemporary interactive fiction, “Keeping a Genre Alive” (2005-11-15), inspired general comment in fan circles that IF had made the big pages. The article’s angle was that the IF community is a “back to basics” cult, and the piece inspired some shorter nostalgia-oriented spots such as Michael […]


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For anyone attempting to follow news on interactive fiction, a few general tips:
For general announcements, Brass Lantern posts regular news items and features on adventures games, more than half of which are IF-specific. Xyzzy News is also a traditional (but seldom-updated) news source.
For reviews and interviews, SPAG (Society for Promotion of Adventure Games) publishes […]


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The terms for discussing chatbots are starting to solidify on this site, thanks to the work of Jeremy and Christy. I wanted to take some time to open up the discussion to more people and to try to formalize some of our basic terms, especially as I find myself getting to the point in my writing where I need to define them. The definitions which follow build upon a number of important posts on this site, most notably: Bots, Demons & Dolls. (These definitions represent my current use of these terms and do not reflect official WRT standards).

Conversation Agents: The broad class of agent programs written to simulate conversation through symbolic exchange.

Chatbot: A type of conversation agent that centers on keyword matching often in combination with other strategies; Conversational Reflex Agents (as defined in Russell and Norvig 41); Chat robot. Chat relates to “chat mode” in the Loebner Prize and Internet conversations, known as “chat.”






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