ASCII by Jason Scott

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Poof You’re Gone —

On February 7th, a kind person mailed in to let me know that there was a text adventure author I should interview. He only did one work, but it was a good work, and he was a generally good author, so I should do my best to include him if I could.

I tried to find him but had trouble, and let them know. They tracked down his livejournal.

I wrote him, and he said:

If you’re in the NYC area, an interview is possible. But writing back and forth is too much like real work. Also, my memory of the particulars of Amnesia are foggy after all this time–and the genre I worked in never took off: interactive fiction, text only. And I don’t do any other type of computer games. Cheers.

Now, there’s a couple ways to read this letter. One way is that he was not interested at all, and another way was that he somewhat interested, but wanted more details. I wrote to him at his e-mail address but I don’t seem to have gotten a reply. This happens sometimes. I let it drop.

This is how it happens when you’re dealing with hundreds of potential interviewees; you get some, you don’t get some. While some would be awesome to add, it’s always a case of schedules, opportunities and possibilities. I also have a limited budget (both in time and money), and you have to call it at some point.

Anyway, my correspondent committed suicide on July 4th.

He was Thomas M. Disch.

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  1. Daphne B. says:

    Thanks for posting this. And, shit. Shit shit shit. I read some Disch in college (for fun, not for class) and I won’t forget him soon. “Then there’s meat, with its obscene / relevance to who we are and what we mean.”

  2. Flack says:

    Wow, that’s depressing. I’m never sure which is worse: when people say, “I didn’t see it coming,” or when people say, “that doesn’t surprise me.” Both are depressing for different reasons I suppose.

    For what it’s worth, here is my interpretation of his response to you. “I did this once. I am saddened that interactive fiction didn’t get more popular than it did. I wouldn’t mind talking to you but I’m afraid I won’t have much to add as an interviewee, and frankly I’m pretty shocked that you would even want to talk to me. If you’ll make the effort to come here, that shows me you’re serious and I’ll set aside the time to talk to you. Otherwise, forget it.”

    It’s too bad your paths didn’t cross before the 4th. It would have been interesting to see what his reaction would have been when you told him there are still people writing and playing Interactive Fiction games.

  3. Chris says:

    Flack wrote:
    “It’s too bad your paths didn’t cross before the 4th…”

    Weird, because I had just watched the “Compression” chapter of Jason’s film the other night, and was thinking the same thing about Phil Katz, how unfortunate it was that he 1.) died so young, and 2.) died before Jason could interview him.