Riddles One of the earliest forms Of Interactive Story Early comparisons » Game, Story, Novel, Puzzle » Poetry (Novak 1991) » “Interactive Fiction is computer gaming‟s best parallel with poetry: complex, subtle, and these days, absolutely unsaleable (Guest 2002) Riddle » Ancient » Dismissed as being a diversion for children. » Riddle is often considered poetry (“Riddle is a short lyric poem that poses a question, the answer to which lies hidden in hints” Turco 1986) Riddle » Poses a question » Answered by reader or listener or riddlee. » Folk riddles “A riddle is a traditional verbal expression which contains one or more descriptive elements, a pair of which may be in opposition.” Riddle » Covered with eyes, but it can‟t see. » I tremble at each breath of air and yet can heaviest burdens bear Joke » How many Freshmen does it take to screw in a lightbulb? » Response format, not a riddle since they do not describe something that is genuinely to be guessed, but rather provide the set up for a punch line. Other non-riddles » “What‟s that thing on top of the engine that controls the mix of fuel and air? » Simply asking for a term, not offered to be guessed but rather in the hopes of learning the answer. Other non-riddles » Mathematical problems. » Situational puzzle: » A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, „Thank you‟ and walks out. » Yes or no questions to figure out why it works Riddles » Meant to challenge the listener but to be soluble, rather than those meant to be insoluble or those not intended to challenge. » Excellent riddles have to be both enjoyably challenging yet soluble with the information provided. Riddles » The unique quality of the riddle as communication is that it engages the attention of the riddlee in particular ways and contains a test for its success. Both parties must be engaged. Mystery novels » Like a riddle but reader doesn‟t explicitly need to solve the mystery » Ridlee needs to turn the unknown and unfamiliar into the familiar in order to know the answer. Excellence » Must have some agreement between riddler and riddlee. » Author is obliged to pose a riddle that is tantillizing in its opacity, yet fair in the clues it provides. » Riddlee is obliged to solve the riddle, to announce the solution and explain the riddle-question and how each of the clues operate. Arrangement » Aristotle‟s Rhetoric » Pattern of Surprise » Then delay » Then excited recognition Early riddles » As old as time, before writing. » Early surviving riddles from Babylon » Who becomes pregnant without conceiving, who becomes fat without eating? History » Sacred texts contain riddles » Well-regarded in ancient Greece. » Legend says that Homer was confounded by a riddle and died of frustration. History » Riddle of the Sphinx from Oedipus » What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two- footed and three-footed?” » 18th Century Riddles were very popular. » After that, riddles became more for kids than adults. Poetry and Riddles » Principles by Howard Nemerov: 1. A poem must seem very mysterious. 2. But it must have an answer (=a meaning) which is precise, literal, and total; that is,which accounts for every item in the poem. 3. It must remain very mysterious, or even become more so,when you know the answer. Principles 1. Invite the interactor to solve the riddle, by being enigmatic in a certain way or by presenting something to be solved that is alluring. 1. Stimulate the curiosity. Principles 2. Provides for the economy of objects in the world. If there are red herrings, they must add to the meaning, even if otherwise extraneous. Principles 3. When the explicit mysteris of an interactive fiction are solved, a work that becomes more profoundly mysterious can be “played” again with interest even when the solution is known. Examples » Where did Pilgrims land when they arrived in America? » When do elephants have 8 feet? » What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? » You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat? Examples » What goes up and down the stairs without moving? » What can you catch but not throw?