IF at Pollard Memorial Library

Interactive fiction came to the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell, Massachusetts on November 2 and 9, 2011, as a group of high school students played Admiral Jota’s “Lost Pig.” Originally, a “mystery club” for middle-schoolers had planned to read “Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret” on those dates, but the older participants appeared at the right place and time, and the younger ones didn’t. With the help of young adult librarian Beth Brassel and IF enthusiast Brendan Desilets, the high school kids laughed and problem-solved their way through the story of Grunk the Orc and his quest to keep his job. During the November 9 session, the students used the “How to Play Interactive Fiction” postcard, a printed map of most of the “Lost Pig” locations, and hard-copy descriptions of the murals and tapestries that provide important hints in the story.

The interactors, all of them new to interactive fiction, enjoyed the sessions enough to ask that the library create an interactive fiction club, so that they could read more IF stories and eventually learn to write IF.  The library may well establish such a club.

In the coming months, interactive fiction will also play a role in a young adult book club for sixth, seventh, and eight grade students. Likely selections include “Mrs. Pepper,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Aotearoa,” and “Escape from Santaland.”