Aaron A. ReedJul 19, 2023
50 Years of Text Games
From Oregon Trail to AI Dungeon
50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to A.I. Dungeon is an extensively researched book chronicling the first half-century of interactive fiction: video games made from words.
Covering one text game released in each year from 1971 to 2020, in-depth chapters dive into classics like Zork, Trade Wars, and Hitchhiker's Guide; beloved fan games like Galatea and Photopia; wild experiments from Dwarf Fortress to Howling Dogs; and breakout hits like 80 Days, Fallen London, and Lifeline. Over 600 pages of coverage and dozens of original maps and flowcharts help explain the structure and design of each game included.
Aaron A. Reed has been creating and researching interactive stories for twenty years, focusing on understanding the many ways authors and players can tell stories together. He holds a PhD in interactive storytelling, and is currently based in California freelancing as a character and narrative consultant for games.
Rudolf Inderst is a professor of Game Design with a focus on Digital Game Studies at the IU International University of Applied Science, editor of “Game Studies Watchlist”, a weekly messenger newsletter about Game Culture and curator of @gamestudies at tiktok.