Gold Machine: Project Update 2/2/22

Gold Machine: How it Started

This isn’t a secret: I’m a disabled person. I don’t work. I had to abandon my English PhD coursework because of my disability.

This being so, I could crank out an essay a day, and, in the early days (Zork trilogy and so forth), I did. I knew that I couldn’t maintain that pace indefinitely. More important, I knew that few people would want to read so much Infocom stuff day to day, fans or otherwise.

From early on, my goal was to author enough content that someone could experience “the joy of discovery.” I may be overselling myself with that wording, but I wanted readers to have the feeling that I have when I discover a new page, blog, twitter account–a new source of content–that I can go through, read all of the old content, and get caught up. The excitement of finding another writer’s material for the first time.

I wanted there to be enough posts for a reader to be able to have a bit of a binge, if they wanted.

Gold Machine: How It’s Going

We’re there now. Gold Machine has plenty of content, enough for someone to uncover, tear through, or even dismiss as ridiculous.

I think it’s now a good time to slow down. Give people a chance to catch up. I tried writing about a new game every other week, but I don’t think that’s long enough. Starting next week, I’ll release one essay every Monday morning (CST). For most games, that will mean spending three weeks on one title.

Gold Machine: How should It Be Going?

As I’ve said before, I believe Gold Machine is a new approach to “reading” Infocom’s texts. Even if one dislikes it: it is new. Readers have disagreed with me–that’s fine. To me, lively discourse, different interpretations and perspectives–good art invites such things. Games aren’t “art” because we say they are. They’re art because we treat them like art.

I write what I write because I think… hm, well, I write the discourse that I want to read.

Get in Touch!

Since Gold Machine is a new approach to experiencing the Infocom canon, there aren’t many models for me to imitate. I really do want to hear what you think about posts here (new or old), so that I can recalibrate and improve as needed. We can either agree or disagree; both can be productive.

Whether you’re a new or regular reader, I encourage you to touch base every once in a while. You have several options:

  • Comment on a post. The field is conveniently located at the end of the article!
  • Website contact form. It’s at the bottom of every page.
  • @ me (GolmacB) on twitter.
  • I’m not very active on Facebook, but I do post updates on my page whenever I publish new content.
  • Email me: That’s right, I’ll just paste my address here in front of god and everybody:
  • EDIT: There’s also a thread about this page at the Interactive Fiction Community Forum. That’s another good way to get in touch.

Coming Monday–Infidel: The Ugly American

8 thoughts on “Gold Machine: Project Update 2/2/22

    1. I definitely agree! Even though people have warmed up to it in the past twenty years, I think it is still undervalued for all the reasons you’ve listed.

  1. I’m really happy with how GolMac is going, and I will be more than happy with the one-post-a-week schedule. I like how you’re taking such a different tack from other retrospectives (notably Jimmy Maher’s) and I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with all this. Infidel is interesting, as maybe the first adventure that acknowledges the colonial aspect you’ve often highlighted.

    1. Thanks Mike. I’ve been looking forward to writing about Infidel ever since finishing the Zork trilogy.

      On another subject: I have just realized that the site’s link to the Enchanter transcript was broken. I’ve since fixed it. Sorry about that! I knew you had an interest in it.

  2. Found your blog a few days ago after backing Reed’s book and have been catching up ever since! To the detriment of my usual mix of blogs and books. Damn you, I was about to finally start a Virginia Woolf after so much other post-modern delicacies and knowing I need to see what she’s about, and then this addictive blog comes along! Well, whatever you are doing, you’re doing it right. I don’t agree with all your points but you write like someone with a double BA in English and Philosophy should, if degrees mean anything. And it’s well organized and thoughtful. I’ve read articles about paint drying and if they’re well organized and thoughtful then damnit I’m in. Because I’ve also read disorganized messes of histories, and well, it sucks. I hate it. Anyway, please keep going. We’ll be here. 🙂

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