There seem to be some misconceptions out there about my interactive
fiction piece 9:05.
For the record: it was not written as an introduction to IF.
It was written in response to a newsgroup post by Steven Marsh in which he
peremptorily declared that for an IF game to tell you who you’re
playing is automatically bad writing.
In a well‑written game, he contended, you must discover who
you’re playing by gathering hints about the player character’s
I thought this broadside against straightforward writing was
wrong‑headed, and I wrote 9:05
to illustrate one reason why.
The fact that a lot of people later used it as an introduction to IF
is pretty nifty, but is certainly not what I intended; I was just
participating in an obscure doctrinal dispute.
Also, I never said that 9:05 was intended “to serve as a preview of what interactive fiction looks like”—I said that about the buggy Java interpreter that was the only option for online play at the time. It would only let you play a few moves, but at least you would know what IF was like before it crashed. I had the same note on my old Photopia and Varicella pages.