Dangerous Curves by Irene Callaci is a piece of interactive fiction created in 2000. This piece was created in Infocom, a programming and designing software used to create interactive fiction. It is an extensive piece of work coming in at 512KB which is 4-5 times the average Infocom game and can take multiple days to complete the entire piece. The presentation of the piece lacks multimodal aspects and consists purely of black text over a white background with limited visual aspects. This piece targets a younger audience in terms of writing style and the storyline, however, the complexity of the coding requires someone with a background in interactive fiction in order to complete the story successfully.
The genre of this story is film-noir detective genre which is a style characterized by the concept of “dark film” or writing styles that include frequent usage of flashbacks and intricate plotlines which are clearly displayed throughout this piece. The protagonist is a detective in the 1940s whose goal is to solve the mystery of whether or not Jessica Kincaid should be exonerated from the charge of running over her husband. The reader is the protagonist and is required to move through a large map (over 300 “rooms”) of different buildings, rooms, and settings in order to obtain various clues needed in order to progress through the story. The reader must input specific words or phrases into the coding in order to speak to specific characters or move through different parts of the setting. By typing “HELP” into the chat, you are provided with a short compiled list with vague instructions and keywords to help you navigate the game. The reader must collect all of the clues in order to uncover the truth of what actually happened to Mr. Kincaid and whether or not his wife Jessica Kincaid is to blame.
This entry was produced as a part of my ENGL 693 course, Special Topics and Digital Studies at the University of New Hampshire during the spring semester 2023.