On Nov. 16 (tomorrow) the Toronto Public Library will be hosting Wordplay, a festival for lovers of text-based video games. I have very mixed feelings about this; text-based games and I always had a love-hate relationship. From games like The Golden Wombat of Destiny, played out in beautiful white-on-black DOS, to the more visually appealing Hugo’s House of Horrors, these games promised hours of hair-pulling “fun.”

wombat

Playing Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards and its sequels was something of a right of passage. The biggest challenge for my 8-year-old self was getting into the game in the first place, but repeated attempts at answering the age-testing questions probably taught me more about Boomer pop culture than anything since. Though the jokes are much less risque than I recall from childhood, it still stands up to the test of time nostalgia.

larryStop by the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St. at Bloor, from 12-5 for panel discussions, workshops, and (of course) game time. For more information on text-based games, visit Quill & Quire’s interview with festival director and Hand Eye Society board member Jim Munroe.

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