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The Space Under the Window

by Andrew Plotkin profile

Romance
1997

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Number of Reviews: 5
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1-5 of 5


Short keyword-driven IF where you change a room description, February 3, 2016
This game was part of an experiment in IF inspired by a challenge to create a work of art with the title "The space under the window". In this game, you see a window, but you can't do anything to it directly. Instead, you type nouns or adjectives you see, and it changes the world to something different, related to that noun or adjective.

I found this game to be pretty short; altogether I think there were less than 40 keywords I could type. Many obvious words were not implemented, but this makes sense for an experimental game.

This kind of concept, whether inspired by this game or not, was further developed by Aisle and then Galatea, both games where the gameplay focuses on typing keywords in a room or a conversation, and text adapts around the words you type. I distinguish this from games like Blue Lacuna, where typing keywords just has you interact with the object.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
No Spoilers, December 19, 2011
by KCJ
By "no spoilers" I mean there is no way to spoil The Space under the Window other than the player merging the mind, spirit, and the body together at the moment of engagement. Hints therefore are safeguarded in action, not in significance. Reading a walkthrough of this game would be redundant. Walking-through the game is the walkthough.

Unusual as it may seem, The Space under the Widow exploits the liquid architecture of the digital computer like Adventure does. While Adventure features cave-crawling and a navigational system composed of both common nouns and cardinal direction, The Space under the Window enlarges the spatial sensory of the common noun while abandoning the cardinal direction. In that way, The Space under the Window turns the physicality of Adventure into the metaphysics of the window. If the player of Adventure travels from room to room with a sense of the natural landscape retained, the player of The Place under the Window traverse from space to space with the sense of the informational structure amplified. As such, information, meaning, and action are brought together.

Consequentially, words become empty vases, glittering glasses, and objects to be manipulated. In that regard, it can be said that The Space under the Window is at the same time traditional in its invocation of Adventure and innovative in its deprivation of the significance of cave-crawling.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Essentially Interactive Poetry, April 27, 2009
by Michael R. Bacon (New Mexico)
One of my favorite sandbox gameplay interactive fictions. Rather than presenting a strong plot or developing fleshed-out characters, The Space Under the Window is an interactive free-verse poem with many different endings as well as paths to those endings. It is very rewarding to play repeatedly, even if one spends less than ten minutes exploring the possibilities.

I only wish it were more fully implemented, allowing more keywords to cause revisions to the narrative.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Quirky & Mysterious, November 5, 2008
by WriterBob (Richmond Hill, Ontario)
"The Space Under the Window," is a unique piece of Interactive Fiction. It stretches the definition of IF to its very limits.

Is it interactive? Well, yes, it is, but unlike traditional IF in that you do not control the character with actions. The flow of the narrative is triggered by single word input, a word that is already in the narrative on the screen.

Is it fiction? Traditionally fiction is plot oriented, although I am sure there are enough English majors who would argue that there are character driven works. Still, what is lacking in "The Space Under the Window," is a sense of motivation for the central character. What *is* the goal? This is an experimental piece of fiction.

This work is unsettling and surreal. The sense of time seems to fluctuate as certain commands seem to trigger going back in time to previous moments. That is what this piece is, a collection of moments strung together where the player is left to wonder what it was he (used in this context, "he" is meant to be a generic genderless pronoun, which English is sorely lacking) just experienced.

This is a game that is difficult to love, but easy to appreciate for the skill with which it was crafted.

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short and Sweet, January 25, 2008
by Ziixxxitria (California)
I was pleasantly surprised with the interesting way the player interacts with the scene. It's very short, but I was able to replay it at least a dozen times without being any less amused. It is definitely worth trying.


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