The text adventure -- once the purview of geeks and computer scientists seeking to push the edge of mainframe computing technology; now an arena for serious writers and academics looking to explore the intersection between literature and interaction.
Case in point.
Book & Volume is a Z-engine game--implemented using the same technology that Infocom used, back in the day. Too retro for the conventional market, but finding another outlet: it's a highly literary work with serious artistic ambitions, recognized by the Iowa Review of all things--a journal you probably have never heard of, unless you are a short fiction writer, desperately trying to find a venue for your work in a world where markets for short fiction are few. And if, say, you are an obscure SF short story writer with credits in the degraded pulps, and find that Z-machine games are appearing in the effing IOWA REVIEW, you think.... Well, this isn't the world I grew up in.
And you feel, perhaps, a twinge of jealousy, until you play the damn thing, and realize:
Okay. This deserves it.
You can play it on the web here, but can't save your progress there. If you want to do that, you need to download and install a Z-machine interpreter on your computer, then download this game's file and open it with that interpreter.
Medi@terra festival selection
Published in the Iowa Review Web, July 06. (For those geeks among us--Iowa Review is a serious literary journal, and any mainstream writer would willingly sacrifice his left testicle to have a short story there.)