Retronauts Episode 468: Text Adventures


Even as we all grow older year by year, video games as a medium remain young compared to nearly every other form of art (with the possible exception of TikTok). In fact, video games are so young, we've only had video games with graphics for a portion of their existence. Once upon a time, games just didn't have any pictures at all; players had to use their imagination. That's like reading!

To shed some light on games' pre-graphics prehistory, host Bob Mackey sat down with Aaron Reed, author of the forthcoming book 50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to A.I. Dungeon. Together they dive deep into the past—seriously, you will not believe how far back "interactive fiction" goes. Also, take note that while the Kickstarter for Aaron's book has ended, you can still preorder his work via Backerkit.

Description: Text adventures: what are they, and where did they hide all the graphics? Until now, these questions have gone unanswered. But this week, we'll be looking at the world of games that existed before any kind of mandatory visual component—and continue to exist to this very day. And we have a real expert on hand: Aaron Reed, author of the upcoming comprehensive text adventure respective, 50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to A.I. Dungeon. So listen in as host Bob Mackey helps steer the Retronauts podcast ship through these formerly uncharted waters. (By us, anyway.)

Retronauts is a completely fan-funded operation. To support the show, and get exclusive episodes every month, please visit the official Retronauts Patreon.

MP3, 39 MB | 1:24:01 Direct download Retronauts on iTunes Retronauts at Libsyn

As with all of the episodes Bob produces, this week’s cover art is by Nick Daniel. Check out his Twitter, or patronize his Patreon!