Posted 4 August 2000 to rec.games.int-fiction
**Interactive Fiction Review Conspiracy**
Review of Chris Charla's LIFE ON GUE STREET
(http://www.ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/zcode/guestret.z5 or ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/zcode/guestret.z5)
by Sam Barlow.
[Actually by Andrew Pontious. -Ed.]
Life on Gue Street Life is a parody of the 1999 competition game "Life on Beal Street" (http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/competition99/tads/beal/beal.gam or ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/competition99/tads/beal/beal.gam) which was written by Ian Finley but submitted to the contest anonymously.
In the original Beal Street, you were told "this is not a game" and "leave your expectations at the curb side." For a piece of IF, it is short, with little opportunity for interaction -- basically an experiment.
Charla takes the same text and rewrites it for humorous effect with Zork references. You can scroll the text of both side-by-side down your screen (as I did) and see what he changed.
It works because it has something to make fun of. The rambling, sentimental prose of the original leaves itself open to parody. To a degree, as the author himself hints at, this is the revenge of every classic adventure game lover who's been forced to play self-important experimental games in the IF competitions for years now.
Then again, Life on Gue Street shouldn't be taken as too much of a manifesto: it's just a short, fun little joke on the original, worth playing for 5 or 10 minutes to get the effect.
I recommend it.
This article copyright © 2000, Andrew Pontious