August 16, 2004

Interactive Fiction Gets Taken to School

by Nick Montfort · , 2:38 pm

Brendan Desilets points to the new home of his valuable and long-standing site on interactive fiction and pedagogy, Teaching and Learning with IF. He writes on that site that he has, “Since 1985 … introduced about five hundred kids, aged eleven through fourteen, to interactive fiction. Most of them like it. In fact, it is the most popular form of literature with most.” Desilets, who teaches middle school in Massachusetts, is author of the article “Interactive Fiction vs. the Pause That Distresses: How Computer-Based Literature Interrupts the Reading Process Without Stopping the Fun.” Among the many resources on his site are suggestions for teachers about how they can help students write IF; an easy-to-run Windows IF kit for teachers, along with instructions on how to do further downloading; and a study showing significant improvement in students’ planning of their writing after interaction with IF.