Friday, January 14, 2011

24:15 Choose Your Own Adventure

You are in a maze of twisty passages all alike.

For those who remember, these words bring back fond memories or long hours of frustrating sessions at the keyboard. I recently re-discovered the classic text adventures -- updated for my iPad. Those text adventures were my first introduction to Interactive Fiction as it’s known. You start out with little more than an introductory line or two and then you have to make decisions using your observations, your wit, your imagination, and maybe a bit of luck to solve the dilemma you find yourself in. If you are not so lucky ... You have been eaten by a Grue. RESTART, UNDO, or QUIT?

The neat thing about these books is that it drew a direct correlation between actions and consequences. If the author was a particularly good writer the stories always explored the moral dimensions of a situation. These little morality plays give us a way to reflect on our own real life situations.

Sometimes being a Dad feels a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. You blunder about making mistakes, learning from them, ask for a HINT, and then end up doing the right thing. Sounds kind of Catholic, don’t you think? Let's examine.

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