Rather by accident, half of IFTF’s current board of directors — myself, and Andrew Plotkin — spoke at !!Con (pronounced “bang-bang con”) in New York City earlier this month. Zarf and I both pitched talk proposals months ago, mutually unaware of the other’s activity. Learning that the conference had accepted both our pitches was a fun moment.

As it happens, Zarf spoke about a topic of potential interest to readers of this blog: the history of Glk, his own virtual-machine technology for parser-based IF games. Initially developed in the 1990s to replace the tried-and-true but quite cramped Z-Machine, Glk has become a core standard for developing and playing modern parser games, and in his ten-minute talk Zarf describes its continued development and hopeful future directions.

Zarf wrote up further thoughts about !!Con on another blog, and I link to my own talk and conference experiences on yet another. (My talk had nothing at all to do with interactive fiction!)

!!Con, now in its fourth year, also gave us a model for what a small, inclusive, and successful conference themed around creative technology can look like. The various directors and volunteers at IFTF have been thinking more on this topic lately, noting the global IF community’s ongoing success with local meetups, and recalling positive experiments with unofficial mini-conferences the Boston area saw in past years. Nothing more than a glimmer yet, but, it’s a glimmer.


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