EXAMINE ROCK

I’ve been struck before by how babyhood and toddlerhood seems to have some aspects in common with interactive fiction. There’s a fascination with objects, for one thing, and on top of that there’s a quality of experimentation, of trying various things with objects just to see what will happen. It’s as if he’s testing the world to see what’s implemented. Sometimes I watch Dante interacting with his environment and imagine it spooling out as a text adventure from his point of view:

Grass, near rocks
You are standing at the edge of a grassy expanse, next to a patch of ground covered by small rocks. There is a street light pole here. To the west are some mailboxes, and your house is to the east.

D is here with you.

> GET ROCK
You pick up a rock at random.

> EXAMINE ROCK
It’s a speckled grey-orange, and a little bit larger than some of the rocks around it. It feels heavy and smooth in your hand.

> PUT ROCK ON GRASS
Nothing happens.

> GET ROCK
Taken.

> SHOW ROCK TO D
D says, “Rock!”

> SAY “ROCK”
You try, but it comes out “Rah!” Nevertheless, D understands and says, “Rock! Good talking!”

> THROW ROCK
You heave the rock in front of you. It happens to hit the light pole, which emits a ringing sound.

D imitates the sound, saying “Ting!” It sounds HILARIOUS the way he says it.

> GET ROCK
The orange rock is lost among the other rocks in the patch, so you pick up a new rock at random.

> THROW ROCK
You heave the rock in front of you. It lands back in the rocky patch.

> SAY “TING!”
You try, and manage a high-pitched “Teeeee!”, which you emphasize by shaking your head back and forth. D understands what you were going for, and laughs hard.

[Your score has gone up by five points.]

Now, just to make things even more IF-ish, we have some advice from Dante’s speech therapist to try to teach him language using very short sentences, leaving out connecting words. Consequently, we do a lot of playing with him where we label his actions as if translating them into a text game. “Open box!” “Close box!” “Green ball!” “Green ball on box!”

I have a feeling that this practice is more amusing to me than to anybody else around, since I’ve spent so much time in my own life typing just those sorts of phrases.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “EXAMINE ROCK

  1. You’re not the only one. For a while Eli would carry his stool around and use it to reach things he shouldn’t be able to read; he would also try everything in his inventory on everything else.

  2. from aunt jenny

    >I have a feeling that this practice is more amusing to me than to anybody else around,

    No way man! This post made me laugh out loud.

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