The Feelies

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Return of the Feelies, Escapist 62

I like Allan Varney, though I’m sure the feeling isn’t mutual. Escapist 62 is out, with an article by Allan that I really found fascinating.

Obviously, if you’ve read this blog for more than a few posts you’ve caught on that I’m a big softie about nostalgia. Especially about gaming. One of the great companies of the early computer gaming industry was INFOCOM, a company I have tremendous respect for, because their only product was text adventures– the visuals, the adventure itself, came alive in your head. No great graphics, no whiz bang animation you needed a graphic card with gigs of memory on it. ONE element of Infocom that I loved was the extras you got with every game. If the text adventure was a crime mystery, you got real, tangible photographs, a crime blotter, pencils and other paraphenalia. If it was a fantasy adventure, you got a map and other adventure oriented stuff. Infocom, and to some extent Origins and the early Electronic Arts, all specialized in these extras that Varney calls “the Feelies” in his latest article. I loved that stuff, all of it lost long ago of course. Varney’s article goes into the process and creation of FEELIES in the early days of computer game packaging, and it’s a danged good read. Give it a look!