Somewhere in August 2015, Jason McIntosh came to me and said (paraphrased), “Hey, I have this idea for a nonprofit organization that will help preserve and promote interactive fiction technology,” and I said (paraphrased), “You won’t get it up the steps. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great idea and I’d love to see it happen, but I don’t know how you can pull this off.”
A year and a half later, IFTF exists as a registered 503(c)(3) charitable organization and has multiple projects underway to improve and maintain IF infrastructure and technology, including the Twine committee and the testathon committee. We also celebrated the first IFTF-led IFComp year back in October, and the IFComp website and infrastructure have moved to IFTF-owned servers that are funded through public donations (thank you so much!)
I don’t know how many pessimistic voices Jason heard, but I’m sure mine wasn’t the only one. It’s easy to hear someone else’s idea and say “too big” or “too complicated” or “too expensive” or “too niche, will anyone care?” Jason brought together the Board of Directors and started IFTF anyway, because he thought IFTF was possible and he knew it was worth the effort.
If you’ve been dreaming of making a difference in the world - whether it’s by volunteering, or organizing a community event, or running for office, or creating a new work of art (interactive fiction, even!) - today is a good day to start. People may have concerns about your plan, and those concerns may be entirely valid, but if you treat those concerns as hurdles (rather than roadblocks), then you can recognize them, address them, and work around them.
And someday, the very people who said “too big,” “too complicated,” “too expensive,” or “too niche” may be sitting right beside you and working on your dream.
Happy New Year from IFTF!