You are on NAG Online. To the south lies another paragraph, while a babbling brook and page header occupy an area to the north. There is an article on adventure gaming here.

>MOVE SOUTH

You are currently on the second paragraph. Various other paragraphs branch out from here: these are probably responsible for explaining the long, winding path that the adventure game genre has taken through its existence, from humble text adventures mired in the primordial goo of the late 70s to 3D epics that tempt and trap unwary adventurers today.

There is a text adventure here.

>EXAMINE TEXT ADVENTURE

There’s an inscription on the back of the text adventure. It reads, “Quite possibly the first adventure game ever was a humble text-based idea known simply as Adventure, later renamed to Colossal Cave Adventure because folks back then didn’t really know much about creative naming. People went absolutely nuts for it when it came out. It featured an ultra-advanced green on black text interface, and a fully-immersive text-based world which astounded players with the ability to type LOOK on their prompt and be treated to a verbal description of an alternate reality. For something that rocked up on the gaming scene in 1975, it was a pretty big deal.

Lookit all them pretty text effects!

Lookit all them pretty text effects!

Many programmers who played the original Adventure were soon inspired to write adventure gaming systems of their own. Groups such as Infocom sprung up and released classics like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (complete with Adams-esque humor and a fiendish Babel Fish puzzle) and the Zork series (complete with, well, pitch black rooms and grues).

For a while, Infocom dominated the adventure gaming market, rivalled only by the occasional offering from smaller companies. Its identity became synonomous with that of an entire genre of videogames, and it treated its customers to ‘feelie packs’ with the purchase of every game: a collection of odds and ends boxed with the title that’s effectively the hallmark of today’s collector’s editions.

Today's players know better than to sniff anything that comes out of a game box.

Today's players know better than to sniff anything that comes out of a game box.

Some of them were gags and silly trinkets, like Hitchhiker’s pocket fluff and ‘Peril Sensitive Sunglasses’ made out of cardboard. Others, however, were devious forms of copy protection, such as the scratch and sniff cards in Infocom’s later title, Leather Goddesses of Phobos. LGOP was famous not only for being really, really naughty (as the walkthrough description goes: “LGOP is a sci-fi sex comedy adventure. This means there’s a fair amount of ravishing going on.”), but its scratch and sniff cards actually won an award for their innovative way of getting players to buy the game: at certain points in the adventure, players would be requested to scratch off a section of the scratch and sniff cards and – lo and behold – sniff it to determine a flavour which they’d then type into the text prompt.”

You leave the text adventure alone, puzzling over its curious message.

You also notice some graphics lying next to the text adventure.

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