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Bob writes...

>> ...You mention Erasmatron: Is it not obvious that creating the Erasmatron
>> required Chris to analyze the nature of character interaction in stories
>> with far more clarity and detail than any academic literature course would
>> ever attempt? ...
> Not to me.
> The Erazmatron reminds me a little bit of tamagotchi and a little bit
> of RPG systems. It seems to have a psychological/sociological influence.
> The organization of rules into a sort of RPG style structure strikes me
> as potentially very powerful for simulation purposes. However, it does
> not avail any means of recognizing plot devices and structure -- not
> even those that are defined in literature studies.
> I feel that Mr Crawford has contributed one of the most useful systems
> for the definition and manipulation of character, and even dramatic
> situations in IF/IS here. But the Erazmatron is not a system facile at
> handling conventional story structure.

I agree completely with your final sentence, and I'd like to expand on it. I
made many attempts to give the Erasmatron some cognizance of story
structures, but I found that these attempts always yielded clumsy results.
My hunch is that what we know of as conventional story structure is
insufficiently abstract to be used in an interactive storytelling
environment. Indeed, if I imagine myself hiding inside the computer, faking
a computer interactive storytelling role, then my thoughts while doing so
would not focus primarily on conventional story structure, as I would feel
little confidence that I could maintain such a structure in the face of my
user's decisions. 

I will, however, express my pain at the comparison of my work with RPGs and
simulations. Smile when you say that, podner!