Old-school computer games by voice?

Once again, bare-bones might prove superior to flashy GUI when it comes to interfacing with assistive technology.  Around 1990 or so, a neighbor of mine had a Tandy computer running some version of DOS.  I’d go over and watch him play computer games — King’s Quest (To Err Is Human), Space Quest, and Moonmist.  All of these were activated by the keyboard and typing simple language — “open door,” “get key,” etc. The Quest games had graphics, whereas Moonmist was an interactive fiction game — entirely textbased.  That one was my favorite, because it resembled the “choose your own adventure books” my neighbor also lent me when I had nothing to read.  I would sit next to him at the computer reading the paragraphs, and when I had to talk to a character or move around the castle, I would tell him what to say and he would type it for me.  (Incidentally, the game also provided me with some of the shorthand I use in Writer now — Z means “wait,” G means “again,” and X means “look,” but I use it for “looking at” because it saves more keystrokes.)

 

I can type to a limited extent now, but don’t know if I’d have the stamina for that game anymore.  But I was thinking — they have some of the Infocom games updated to run as CD-ROM, including Moonmist.  Since the game is not timed and runs on words, I’m thinking that as long as I could still run Dragon in the background, I may be able to give the game commands by voice and alternate with typing.  I actually did try that using a version of Moonmist that someone had put on a 3 1/2 inch floppy using a WinFrotz machine interpreter, and it worked to some extent except that when I wanted to say “press enter” I had to repeat myself for the command to go through.  Maybe Dragon will interact better with something that was designed to run on XP.  You think?  I don’t know why I want to waste my breath or my remaining hand strength playing stupid little games, unless it’s to occupy myself on the long days waiting for a prospective employer to call me back, ha ha.  I’m talking more out of nostalgia than anything, I think.  Because I just realized they discontinued it anyway.  Dang.  I still wonder though, especially for the Quest games where it mattered how fast you typed before the wizard came or the alien blew your head off.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Old-school computer games by voice?

  1. etj says:

    If you’re interested in text adventures, you should check out some of the more modern developments. http://ifdb.tads.org is a good place to start.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s