Talk:Choice-based interactive fiction

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((Note: I believe the trademark name is "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" with the hyphens. Also, although Shelley Jackson's butt is certainly notable, the last paragraph slamming hypertext is not exectly correct since hypertext can have guard fields and other ways of restricting and enabling navigation through text not readily available in CYOA books. Since hypertext aficianados often think IF is little more than a CYOA, it doesn't help anyone very much to make the same mistake in reverse, but whatever you think is suitable. Also, Raymond Queneau's story "Un conte a votre façon" ("Story as You Like It" or "Yours for the Telling"), and later Julio Cortazar's novel Rayuela (Hopscotch), both from the early 1960s, are the original works in this one-text-multiple-paths form and deserve mention. The idea was first described in Jorge Luis Borges's 1941 story "El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan" ("The Garden of Forking Paths.") [nm 30 Jul 2002]))


((Nick -- feel free to edit any definition if you think you can improve it; I've tried to integrate your comments above. The original author can always come back and re-assert his/her original point of view. Ideally, this will go on until everybody's happy, or until someone gets tired of the ping-pong, steps in and says, "There are two ways to look at this issue..." DGJ 31 Jul 2002))


-- Scott Boras - added to definition- 05 Nov 2002


-- DennisGJerz - 25 Jan 2004 (Responding to NM's suggestions. Revised a distracting anatomical reference.)

Change of title from "Choose your own adventure" to "Choice-based"... and then to "Choice-based interactive fiction"

For Robin Johnson: I see you moved the page. I have no opinion either way but have you noticed that the category's called CYOA as well? It's Category:CYOA. It would be possible to change the category to "Choice-based" but there are so many knock-on effects you'd really need to be an administrator to carry it out (or at least to do it neatly). A quick way but incomplete/messy way would be just to edit Template:CYOA, as that seems to be how the "CYOA" game pages get categorised. I wonder how we could be made administrators :-) Jonathan (talk) 14:55, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

The change you made to that template just means that the template page is now listed on Category:Icon templates alphabetically as if it were named "Choice" rather than CYOA which it still is. Probably best not to make any CYOA to Choice changes until an administrator gets on board with it. Then it can be done properly throughout the site. Do you want the category to be called "Choice-based" or "Choice"? Recategorising 140-odd pages is a big decision as you can be sure nobody will take the trouble of changing it :-) Jonathan (talk) 16:25, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
Thank you! You're right, I've undone that change to the template and I'll stop hacking around in things I don't understand before I break anything else :-)
As to what the name should be: I think it's fair to say that "CYOA" is (now) a bad choice:
  • it has a slightly derogatory use, especially when coming from a position of "parser IF is the only true IF", which the formerly-known-as-CYOA article even acknowledged (although I've since removed that.)
  • the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books have no state; much choice IF, and almost all well-known commercial choice IF, has fairly deep state for modelling things like emotions and relationships, so equating them with the CYOA books is inaccurate.
  • The term "choose your own adventure" has been the subject of cease-and-desist notices on itch.io and elsewhere from the publishers of the original books (this is frankly a bit rich, as without the hobbyist choice-IF crowd they wouldn't have a market to make the term worth defending, but I digress), causing the hobbyist crowd to move away from it
So, I think a sensible name would be one of Choice, Choice-based, Choice IF or Choice-based IF. I don't think there's much between them, and I can see the appeal of using Choice simply because it's the most plain.
But FWIW, my reasoning for Choice-based was:
  • choice seems too ambiguous -- it might mean a single choice point in a choice story, or a more abstract sense of choice in game design.
    • You'd also expect Choice to correspond to Parser, but that is an article about parsers themselves (the subsystem of an IF game that analyzes a string and finds a grammatical structure) and not parser-based IF. I don't think there currently is an IFWiki article on parser-based IF, because much of the wiki dates from a time when the community considered parser-based IF to be the only IF worth writing about. But when there is, I think its title should be homologous to the choice-based IF article, and Parser is already taken.
  • Choice IF/Choice-based IF: I feel having "IF" in the title of an article, in a wiki that is all about IF, is redundant and a bit ugly.
  • That left Choice-based as my favourite candidate for the article title, although it would still be the right thing for a lot of links to display as simply choice. My second preference for the article title would be Choice (and honestly I don't think it would take much to convince me it's a better option. I did set it up as a redirect.)
Robin Johnson (talk) 17:03, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
Based on my limited knowledge of this (ie the original CYOA books at school!) I'd agree with "Choice-based". I'll have a look tonight if I get a chance, to see whether it's worth making the changes that a non-admin can make. It might be. Jonathan (talk) 17:12, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
On second thoughts, "Choice-based interactive fiction" might be a good name for this page (it looks nice, explains itself and the search engines might like it) but "Choice-based" as the category that the stories get grouped into. Jonathan (talk) 17:14, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
That would work for me. Robin Johnson (talk) 17:42, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
OK, so far, I've changed the page title and fixed some related redirects. You will probably want to look at the pages that link to this page (Special:WhatLinksHere/Choice-based_interactive_fiction) to see whether to edit their content. They seem mostly to be pages mentioning that things are "CYOA-style", and understandably link to the "CYOA" and "Choose you own adventure" pages which now redirect to this page. I guess some should remain as is and some you will want to "modernise". Jonathan (talk) 23:09, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
I've put some stuff about renaming/moving the category on Category talk:Choice-based#Changing category name from "CYOA" to "Choice-based". Jonathan (talk) 23:37, 8 December 2021 (UTC)