Archive on 4


Radio 4 Series 1 Episode 1
First broadcast 27th February 2016, 20:00
Duration: 57:02
SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK: From obscure French literary movements, via fantasy role-playing books, to video games, Naomi Alderman explores the history of interactive fiction.

Clips from this programme

Introduction: Interactive Story telling: Tolkien, US Airforce training, 1980's children's' adventure books, Computer Adventure Games (Fred Harris), Novels and computer adventure games, their evolution (Naomi Alderman)

Duration: 03:23

Interactive Story telling, Penguin Fighting Fantasy Game book series (1980s) SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK, Interactive documentary

Duration: 02:13

The start: The 1950's: Norman Crowder (The Arithmetic of Computing), the first multiple choice / interactive book, Tutor Texts, Macbeth

Duration: 03:24

France: The Oulipo, The Workshop of Potential Literature, interactive fiction / story (Raymond Queneau's Un Conte a votre Facon (1967)), Alan Turing Algorithms

Duration: 04:22

Britain: Interactive fiction, Programmed Learning (Dennis Guerrier, Civil Servant), Interactive Books to entertain, not just inform (1969 'Sleep and the City Trembles' with John Garforth, 'State of Emergency' with Joan Richards), Biafran civil war, Utopian thoughts freeing minds

Duration: 05:23

Dungeons and Dragons (1974) fighting fantasy role playing games, Interactive Fiction (Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone TSR, Games Workshop), 1982 Games convention

Duration: 07:44

Paper and Pencil and technology - 1976: Will Crowther & Don Woods (Colossal Cave adventure text game), Roy Trubshaw's fantasy interactive adventure on Essex Mainframe computer (MUD, Multi-user Dungeon interactive text game), connected computers

Duration: 02:47

Fighting Fantasy books, Dungeons and Dragons (1980's), role playing games, Interactive Fiction (Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone TSR, Games Workshop), the next step: Branching narrative, the Wizard's Quest, (Jonathon Green, writer), Penguin books (Puffin), fighting fantasy game books with alternate worlds, maps & flow diagrams of these worlds

Duration: 08:44

Computer Dial (later 1980s) Interactive Fiction dial-in service (Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Games Workshop) for Fighting Fantasy, FIST

Duration: 03:04

Infocom, Spellbreaker, Interactive Fiction, The Computer revolution (1985) with Micro Live, Parsers, from MIT with Zil , Douglas Adams interview, Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy adventure game, 'Islington Rate Payer'

Duration: 08:28

Emily Short's Interactive Stories (e.g. BEE), Text based life-changing adventure games e.g. Archers story lines, TWINE for interactive fiction, text on mobile

Duration: 04:06

Conclusions: Interactive Fiction has dissolved into culture, tutor texts, personalised advertisements, MUDs, social media, choice, Utopia

Duration: 03:30

End Credits (Presenter: Naomi Alderman, Producer: Alex Mansfield), interactive version of this programme link

Duration: 00:15