Who is the player?


I can't find the old post, but this has been asked before...

My thoughts:

The player has multiple personalities.

1. The actual player, who is actually playing an actual game and cognizant of this fact

2. The PC (player character) - or the person the actual player is pretending to be (or imagining he or she is during play)

3. A kleptomaniacal ignoramus, wandering around aimlessly, and possibly trying to attack every NPC in the game world

Crosspost from r/showerthoughts?

Do you mean in game or real life? ...wait, that defeats the purpose... If a text adventure made by Quest, I'd say both 2 and 3. If any other game, I'd say both 1 and 3.


I mean... No matter what is written, no matter how well the game is set up, I think the player is always those three people, and only those three people (during play).

Perhaps I'm being silly. (It's been a while since I've slept.)

“Perhaps I'm being silly. (It's been a while since I've slept.)“

You? No. No way. It can be! Can it?


Seriously, though:

Has anyone ever actually imagined themselves as the story's main character while playing a text adventure?

I've imagined myself lying in front of a bulldozer, but I've never once thought of myself as Arthur Dent. Nor did I ever fancy myself Ford, Trillian, or Zaphod, although I was extremely immersed in that game.

It may just be me, but any time spent convincing me that I have some inherited traits that have been written for the main character in a work of interactive fiction is a complete waste.

I am not the story's protagonist.

I am the player.

Set up the world for me. Give me some stuff to do. Entertain me. Don't waste your time trying to convince me I'm actually in the story.

I don't think it's a waste of time to try to convince the player that they're actually in the story. I never do it, but I think it's a legitimate form of story telling. Done well, it can be very effective and convincing - look at how well religion works.

it depends on the game design, if it allows for you to be:

  1. immersed/customized (I can be myself or whatever character I want to be ---- usually requires the character to be a blank slate and not much dialogue for obvious reasons --- a silent/bland/blank/boring character with little or no dialogue/immersion/interaction --- thus allowing you to use your own brain-mind for the immersion as you being the character within the game --- also, usually the game as elements that interest you as well, and thus you're able to imagine/immerse yourself as yourself or whatever character within the world, a good example, is sex/porn games, as at least with guys, this is something that interests us, our own fantasies/desires so we're able to easily become a character within the world due to wanting to be so --- it's our, us, males', "50 shades of grey", lol. Though, sex/porn isn't required for such immersion of our selves as ourselves or as whatever character, as an interesting world and etc, works too, as I used for example: TES:Morrowind)

  2. or not (set character: I can put myself into this character's shoes and be him/her/it ---usually the set character has lots of very good dialogue, development, and/or immersion/interaction, built into the game world, so not requiring your own brain-mind to imagine yourself within the game world as that character).

  3. or the last case, the character is either: a blank slate, but you're UN-able to imagine/immerse yourself as being yourself or whatever character, as that character, and instead, you're merely "a leaf within the storm of the world" (I am just controlling this character, having no/zero attachment/immersion/identification/relation with him/her/it), or, it's a set character, but you're still unable to put yourself into his/her/its shoes. So, the immersion comes from your objectives/purpose within the world, but not from the character you control: I am a nobody, but I'm the one who has to save the world (or destroy it, or whatever the objective/purpose is for the game and its game world, lol).


TES: Morrowind (and probably/surely Oblivion and Skyrim too, but I've not played them): I can be myself or whatever character I want to be

Fallout 1+2 (as I've not played 3+4): I am whoever I want to be and/or myself within the Fallout world, hehe, wink wink, hehe

Chrono Trigger (old SNES RPG): I am playing as Chrono, trying to save the world from Lavos.

Parasite Eve 1 (old PS1 RPG): I am Aya Brea, one of the coolest, most beautiful/sexy, and bada$$ gaming characters of all time!

Final Fantasy 6 (old SNES RPG, in the U.S., it was known as: Final Fantasy 3) --- I can't think of any other examples for this 3rd type, but the reason FF6 works here, is because there's so many characters (let's see if I can list all of them, how good is HK's memory of one of his favorite/best RPGs of all time, lol: Terra, Celes, Edgar, Sabin, Locke, Setzer, Gau, Mog, Umaruru, Cyan, Shadow, the little magic girl who draws stuff -- can't remember her name though, the old magic guy --- can't remember his name either... ?Strago?, Gogo, and I know I'm still missing some more characters I think... argh... HK cries loudly ---- NVM I got them all, Yay! the little magic girl is Relm, Strago is indeed the old magic guy's name, and its 'Umaro' not 'Umaruru' for the yeti character, lol), and thus not really a main character (technically this isn't true, as Terra is the main character, with Celes as the runner up) for you to put yourself as being, lol.

Terra was such an awesome female character, and this was way back in the past, when awesome characters usually weren't females. Really ground-breaking character, Terra was, hehe. HK loves Terra, with her green hair in her human body, and her true form, her pink esper body, and her glowing dual-wielding: blue Atma Sword and golden/yellow Illumina sword, HEHE, so powerful and sexy, hehe :D


I don't think it's a waste of time to try to convince the player that they're actually in the story.

Yeah... Maybe I went a little overboard...

I want to be "in the story", there's just no point going out of your way to convince me that I am your story's character.

it can be very effective and convincing - look at how well religion works.

JenniferCampbell, I love the way you think!


Bad joke removed

The Rainbow Connection is not about religion at all!
I always saw it as a "your dreams will come true" song!
Here is the Wikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Connection



Sorry, jmne. That was just me joking around.

Paul Williams was an awesome guy (if you don't believe me, find a Muppet Show episode with him in it). He wrote this song for Kermit (ahem, I mean Jim Henson) because he and Kermit were about the same height and they both believed in making people happy.

Bad joke removed

I thought it was funny.

I'm actually quite dense for humor, and I come across tin-foil conspiracy type people all the time, sorry.



Are you batting your eyelashes, too?

I thought it was funny.

Aw, gee, shucks...

You muh-muh-muh-make me hap-pay!


I'm actually quite dense for humor

...and I assume everyone catches my obscure references, which makes my attempts at humor hit or miss.
Plus, the joke might have gone over better had I somehow let people know that I was joking. So, it's all good!

I come across tin-foil conspiracy type people all the time, sorry.

You mean this tin-foil hat isn't preventing the BBC from controlling me from London?*

* If someone caught this reference, name the game!


Time's up!

The game is Bureaucracy. Conceived by Douglas Adams and written by Steve Meretzky.


Please tell me that Bureaucracy is still available.

Don't worry, HK is 99% of the time, lost/dense/ignorant of most of KV's jokes/quips/references... sighs.

when I see your name, Jennifer Campbell,

I always see/think-of it as being: Jennifer Connelly:

(really good movie: the rocketeer 1991: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102803/ , USA vs hitler/Nazi fictional movie, and she was/is very sexy in this movie, when I saw as kid and still even now, lol: very pretty and got some nice... ahem... wink, and a nice ... ahem... wink)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkaz_yXVvZA (hehe, Cliff splashes the soup on her chest, and does so again at the fancy place, too. That's a fighter pilot for you, BULLSEYE! The person who plays Cliff, is quite similar to Branden Fraiser, I keep thinking it is him, but nope, lol. Bill Campbell, not Branden Fraiser, lol)


JC always makes me think of John Coffey. (Like the drink, only spel't different.)

The Rocketeer would probably make a good adventure game. But the Green Mile was awesome! And Michael Clarke Duncan?! Oh, now there's someone with nice 'Ahems' and a nice 'Ahem', if I do say so myself!


But the Green Mile was awesome!

Zaphod Beeblebrox was CRAZY!

He was head and shoulders... and head... above the rest!

Did you know that Zaph wrote a text adventure?

You are in a cell. You can see a cot and a rocket pack. There is a Door to the South and a Window to the North.
> look at pack
It is too small for your massive frame.
> look at door
It is made of sturdy iron bars.
> open door
It is locked.
> bend bars
With what?
> my giant muscles
The other doors quiver in fear, hoping desperately that you will not do to them what you have done to this poor door!
> go south
You are in a hallway. You can go...


All I wanted me was a little cornbread!



Everyone who has ever been entertained by Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, or Frances McDormand has seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri; right?

(I hope so. It's drama, but it's GOOD!)

It’s on our watch list!

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unfortunately HK is not to clear on what the 'ahems' are for JC and MCD, whereas, I think, HK's 'ahems' are obvious...

HK could guess at the ahems... but would probably make an idiot/fool of himself... (not that HK doesn't already do that on a regular basis... lol). Females have more factors in what makes a male attractive... Males have much fewer factors in what makes a female attractive, lol. It's really all about "PATty" for us males in what makes a female attractive, wink.

HK never actually saw Green Mile in its entire'ty, only seen pieces of it... wasn't too interested in what I saw/know of it (though this was years after it came out): it seems to be about a black inmate/convict (rightly or wrongly convicted), but whom can perform miracles... and probably has emotional development amongst the characters to increase its impact. Is this generally what the movie is about?

Michael Clarke Duncan was a good actor though (and in a lot of movies)... too bad he died... Hollywood hasn't seem to found a replacement for him yet... no big muscular black guy who can act/memorize lines, quite yet has been found yet by hollywood.

Movies that HK liked that he was in (not ranked, just ordered):

(using the filmography section in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Clarke_Duncan )

  1. Friday (didn't really like the movie, as not into drugs at all, except for: the girl who played 'Mrs. Parker', I was a young kid/teen and she was hot at the time and her cleavage/tits and a$$ was sexy/hot back then for me, lol, and for the final "message/lesson" of/with Ice Cube using fists instead of the gun, nothing wrong about guys beating/bruising each other up non-seriously, no different than taking a pi$$ for us guys, lol)

  2. Scorpion King

  3. Daredevil

  4. Sin city

  5. The Island (this was the world's introduction to Scarlet Johansen, right? movie wasn't that great, but we guys were mostly watching it for this new beautiful busty blond girl in a tight white body suit, Scarlet Johansen, lol --- funny, how this is similar to her being put again in a tight near-transparent body suit in her role as Motoko in GitS movie, which was HORRENDOUS: NEVER have americans trying-and-failing-to copy japanese genius)

(various mature content warning)

Bad'ss that is Motoko:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxkMzn4et2U (season 1 opening)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQIqgxeNtl0 (season 2: "2nd gig", opening)









(WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILER: Motoko's past/history/origin, very very very emotional... you've been warned...)

vs american elephant huge $hit pile:


  1. Green Lantern (I guess he must of been the big alien guy that trained the hero/main-character human green latern, never even know michael was in this film, lol --- or if that was just CGI, maybe he was the alien guy who died, who's ring went to the hero)

(seen some other movies too that he was in, but those weren't movies I enjoyed/liked, lol)


The Green Mile is basically a Jesus allegory.

...and thankfully there is emotional development between the characters. Otherwise, it would be like a DC Universe movie (or a new Star Wars movie).

Ice Cube hit a dude in the head with a brick! That's slightly better than shooting him, depending on your outlook, I guess, but it's still Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and it probably would have killed Deebo in real life.

...and you forgot The Whole Nine Yards! Frankie Figs, y'all!!!

americans trying-and-failing-to copy japanese genius

It sucks worse when the Japanese try to imitate American genius.

I enjoy Japanese stuff, for the record. Quite a bit of it is genius, too. I agree.

...but, to me, their art is just like that of any other culture. It can be good. I think most Americans just think that all Japanese entertainment is superior because they generally only export the popular stuff. If you understood the language and read and/or watched the stuff that hasn't been translated to English, you would find that most of it sucks, just like most of our stuff.

I forgot the brick usage (it is a movie though of course, "stoning to death" is very real, you don't need a high technology gun and bullet, just your own arm and a rock)... only remember them duking it out with fists, instead of Ice Cube using the gun

(speaking of it's a movie... home alone... lots of fatalities or serious injuries if any of that was done in real life, lol)

I love the graphics/animation of japanese anime/manga

but I am referring to the literature/advanced-concepts-and-science itself

the only place HK finds the same IQ level of content by americans is within/from books, (and a very very very very very few movies/tv-shows-series, though they're likely using japanese content/genius.. lol):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZjbNhLODKU (FLAGRANT PLAGERISM, and producer/who-ever admits/confesses it, too)

best of american movie/tv/comic literature vs best of japanese manga/anime literature:

Winner: japanese manga/anime

manga/anime is at least shakespeare/greek level in literature (and also in advanced-science-concepts to whatever the matching examples with american book content), if not exceeding it!

I've not seen japan's worst trash manga/anime, but I am 100% absolutely posittive certain that it doesn't even come close to american's worst trash in movies and tv-shows

nothing is more demented than (most, and especially the worst of) american content

I've seen american tv shows where they try to talk about what the future would be like...

I almost died of laughter at how fkn stupid they were...

I was like screaming at the tv: "go fkn watch 'ghost in the shell: stand alone complex', you fkn american dodo birds! (HK)"


Please tell me that Bureaucracy is still available.

Mmm... I've got the old floppy version. (It still runs in DosBox.)

It's also in Lost Treasures of Infocom 2.


I don't know if this is legit or not, but it kind of looks like it:




If you haven't beaten the Hitchhiker's game, or at least solved the Babel Fish puzzle, you REALLY don't want to play Bureaucracy!!! It's only purpose is to annoy you! You have a heart rate, and it rises each time the parser doesn't understand you. Steve Meretzky is a [expletive deleted], [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted], and his sole purpose this time is to annoy the ever-loving [expletive deleted] out of the player, while lovingly entertaining the [expletive deleted] out of us with every single bit of prose.


Leather Goddesses of Phobos is outstanding, too, if you haven't played that Meretzky game.

Plus, you get to choose which restroom you use in the first location of the game, which decides if you play as a man or a woman (of course).

Do note that you will NOT find the scratch-n-sniff feelie which the game will occasionally reference even if you locate and purchase a used copy of this game, and you are better off. My cousin had this one, and everything you scratched smelled funky anyway. (You'll see what I mean if you ever play the game. The context lets you know you wouldn't want to smell that if you had the choice.)


He was head and shoulders... and head... above the rest!

I completely missed this!

JenniferCampbell is a zarkin' frood!!!

i think 1st and 3rd are more compatible to every player

I found it interesting replaying some of the old Mysterious Adventures series to find that they're in the first person. So the player character is some guy wandering around trying to find whatever the objective is, and the player is a disembodied voice giving him advice. Some commands will result in "That isn't a good idea." or "Why would I want to do that?".
In the first remake I uploaded a demo version of, the extreme form of this is the command "kick tiger", which gives the response "You must be joking!"

Oddly enough, somehow separating the player from the player character like this seems to deepen immersion, at least for me. Maybe because it gives the protagonist some kind of personality, without the player needing to think themselves inside the role.

JenniferCampbell is a zarkin' frood!!!

EXCUSE ME! I am quite obviously a HOOPY frood! But I'm not an anti-zarkist of any stripe! I definitely know where my towel is at.

I don’t own a towel...

I know exactly where my towels are. They're spread out on my bed, because the last month or so I've come home every day dripping with sweat so much I don't want to touch the furniture.
Unfortunately, I suspect this isn't enough to make me any kind of frood.

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