"Once more a kingly quest": Fan games and the classic adventure genre

  • Anastasia Marie Salter University of Baltimore
Keywords: Adventure game, Authorship, Computer game, Fan fiction, Personal game, Lucas Arts, Sierra


The classic adventure games—part of the earliest traditions of interactive narrative—have not disappeared, although they no longer occupy space on the shelves at the local computer store. Even as changing hardware and operating systems render these games of the 1980s and 1990s literally unplayable without emulating the computer systems of the past, fans are keeping these stories alive. Authorship of these games has changed hands: it is now under the control of the fans, the former and current players. Through the online sharing of fan-created game design tool sets and of the fan-created games themselves, these new coauthors create a haven to revisit these decades-old games using fresh eyes and fresh systems. The products of these folk art–reminiscent efforts also offer a venue to reconsider video game fandom in light of genres. They also allow us to understand these "personal games," productions of one or more people that are not intended for commercial sale, as carrying the heritage of the classic era forward into the next generation of gaming.

Author Biography

Anastasia Marie Salter, University of Baltimore
Doctoral Fellow, Communications Design, University of Baltimore; MFA Student, Children's Literature, Hollins University; Adjunct for University of Baltimore