Tag Archives: interactive fiction competition entry

Another interactive fiction competition entry, Impostor Syndrome is a static hypertext story in which you play the role of an IT worker presenting a talk who is subject to the titular condition.

Given the anxiety and self-doubt of impostor syndrome, the story is understandably earnest and humourless. It is written in the second person “You see… You feel…” like most interactive fiction, but I think I would have liked it better written in the first person. The pseudonymous author captures nerd culture well with comments on a fictional programming language and amusing thinly-veiled references to tech companies e.g. Goggle.

Make sure to try all the choices. I often find it difficult to detect implicit choice points in a mostly linear narrative. There may be many choices at a node; some are just cycles returning to the node; the expectation is that there is one choice that escapes to the rest of the narrative as is usual in a linear narrative; but, rarely, there is more than one exit when there is a branch in the narrative.

Narrative branches are more likely near the end (imagine how frustrating it would be if your first choice out of a hundred tacitly determined if you have a good or bad ending) but in the first play it can be hard to estimate progress – although where you are in the story offers a clue, atemporal choice cycles complicate the relation between playing time and narrative time.