Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Informal Post on Zork

I have to admit when I first started playing Zork, I underestimated it. I began typing in commands and everything went through without any problems. Then as I got further into the game, I would type in certain commands and get responses like "I don’t know that word" or "Can't go that direction." I had to actually think about which direction I had come from in order to retrace my steps and pick a path that I could pass along. I also learned that everything has to be done in precise steps. For instance, I wanted to go in through a window that was slightly ajar. It told me that it was just enough for me to be able to get through. After reading this statement I entered a command to go inside the house, but it wouldn't work. So after a few other commands I typed in "open window" and then it responded with something along lines that I had somehow mustered up enough energy to get the window open enough for entry. Then I was allowed to enter the house. I assumed that I by stating that I want to enter the house, the window would be opened in order for me to do that, but instead I had to separate the commands and do one at a time. Another example of not using the correct language occurred when I wanted to leave the house. I typed in "Leave house" and the response that I received was "You are not carrying the house." So I had to say "Exit house" in order to be outside again. So, from this I realized the importance of choosing the right words, in order to get the reaction or results that you want. I also felt the challenge of being forced to put words in a certain way, in order to get the specific results that I wanted. Overall, I think Zork could potentially give me good practice in choosing/placing words in the correct manner in order to teach me the process of knowing how to make the results I want a reality.

4 comments:

Adam Johns said...

I'm not sure whether you find Zork fun or frustrating at the end of the day. What I like here, regardless, is that you're focusing on the exact thing which many people find most frustrating about it, and making it into a virtue...

Steev said...

I find your post really interesting, because I've always maintained a similar view on computer programming: computers are stupid. They only do exactly what you tell them to. The difficulty in programming is in that sometimes telling the computer exactly what you want is harder than you think.

Adam Johns said...

Replying to Steve - as I well remember from Comp Sci 101, when we spent some time programming in binary Oh, the tedium. I also remember my first encounter with a Compiler, when I didn't understand the difference between interpreters (Basic) and Compiers - oh, that created some confusion...

Brittnee S. Alford said...

To answer your question, I'm not really sure if I find it more frustrating or fun; I guess that's why I didn't make it clear. I think its a combination of both frustration and curiosity that keeps me playing.