Landmarks in Exemplary Use of the Medium

  • 1985 Carmen Sandiego (adventure game)

  • 1991 Victory Garden (hyperfiction)

  • 1993 Oregon Trail (adventure game)

  • 1994 Under a Killing Moon (adventure game)

  • 1996 The Neverhood (adventure game)


Since I have focussed on the developmental steps of computer mediated storytelling, you may have noticed a few works missing which were significant in making exemplary use of the medium. These would include Carmen Sandiego (1985), probably the most popular computer mediated mystery series; Victory Garden (1991) by Stuart Moulthrop, another fine example of the Eastgate aesthetic; Oregon Trail (1993) by Wayne Studer, an evocative story of pioneer life through effective use of the medium; Under a Killing Moon (1994) which took computer mediated cinematic storytelling a step further; The Neverhood (1996) by Douglas TenNapel, a believable alien world with an outstandingly consistent internal story, and of course any number of other computer mediated stories.

I have also not covered here how various technological advances, beginning with the historically unrecorded addition of text and text manipulation to the computer's functions, and spanning out to the production of sound, images and moving images in association with one another and text, have effected changes in the way stories are told in this medium. Nor have I covered the pioneering works of artists creating for stand-alone gallery exhibitions.

Overall I have only scratched the surface of the history of computer mediated storytelling; an artform that is only a little over twenty years old. But I do hope that it inspires you to go back and look at the creations representing each of the developmental steps, setting aside determinations of good and bad and instead picking out what works and what is suggestive of new possibilities.


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