Zork being played on an interactive typewriter

Chip Hageman's picture
NewsCheck out this great typewriter hack made by Jonathan M. Guberman.

In his own words: Introducing the Automatypewriter, a new way to experience interactive fiction! It’s still a little rough around the edges (in particular, you can see that the spacebar sticks a little, and the whole thing needs to be tidied up), but you get the idea: the Automatypewriter is a typewriter that can type on its own, as well as detect what you type on it. By reading what it types to you and responding, it can be used interactively to play a game or participate in a story (in this case, Zork).

To learn more about it and follow his progress be sure to check out his website.



Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
I've been following this

I've been following this project and have been trying to wrap my head around exactly what I think of this. This is one of those it's so wacky of an idea it may be too wacky for its own good type of things. With that said, upon further reflection, it kind of mimics the old teletype concept, and as such, I support the hack, since I do love reliving the feel of old technology, though personally I've only gone as far as switch-based computing with an Briel's mini Altair replica.

I think the next logical step for this project would be to make a completely audio-based version complete with speech recognition. It would be cool to play this like an audio book, except you need to actively issue commands. This would be ideal for the blind as well.

Chip Hageman
Chip Hageman's picture
Joined: 10/06/2010
This has all of the hallmarks

This has all of the hallmarks of a classic hack.. i.e. they did it just to do it. I don't think there's necessarily a practical application to it but it is interesting to watch people experiment and have fun with the classics.


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