IF Outreach is the watchword for 2010, which captured the attention of attendees of PAX East 2010 in March of this year, possibly because Jason Scott's Get Lamp documentary about interactive fiction fascinated both longtime members of the IF community and newcomers alike.
IF is no longer discussed solely by the members of ifMUD and the r*if newsgroups. People are discovering -- and discussing -- IF in many venues, such as classrooms, literature groups, casual gaming groups, and more. One new development is the formation of IF groups that meet in person; check out the People's Republic of Interactive Fiction in Boston, the Chicago Interactive Fiction Group, the SF Bay Area Interactive Fiction Group, and the Seattle IF Group!
We're seeing more discussion about how to make IF more accessible for new players, and how best to promote IF. For example, Emily Short asks So, Do We Need This Parser Thing, Anyway? Andrew Plotkin and Lea Albaugh offer a handy How to Play Interactive Fiction card under the Creative Commons license. Juhana Leinonen continues to develop Neophyte's IF Trainer project.
Browser-based IF is getting some love too. The success of Jay is Games' Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7 showed how useful the Parchment and Flaxo interpreters were for presenting IF to the gaming public. Expect to see TADS 3 and Glulx games also make their ways onto your browser. For more TADS 3 news, see the TADS 3 System Development blog. For Glulx terps, check out Quixe and ZMPP.
And don't forget about PAX Prime 2010 in September in Seattle!
This was a feature article in June 2010.