Week Seven: Gurus’ Day Preparation

YOU ARE IN A MAZE OF TWISTY LITTLE PASSAGES, ALL ALIKE.
>go north
>YOU ARE IN A MAZE OF TWISTY LITTLE PASSAGES, ALL ALIKE.

This is a well-known puzzle from a version of the first text adventure game, known variously as Colossal Cave Adventure, Adventure, and Advent (after the name of the exe file) and designed by Will Crowther, a member of the ARPANET development team. While researching the game for my dissertation, I began to think about the way in which blind people navigate the world as analogous to travelling through a labyrinth with the aid of thread or (as is the key to solving the  Adventure puzzle, by means of marking explored passages by dropping an object in it) except the thread is the aid of a guide dog, person, or assistive tool such as a cane. Without a guide or a tool of some kind visually impaired people can feel isolated from society, so the ‘people’ aspect of this project can be visualised as the centre chamber and outermost passage of a maze, where the centre chamber represents the potential isolation of an individual in this user group and the outer chamber represents all the other people, visually impaired or sighted, that the project could facilitate communication and social bonds with. The technological and design elements can be seen as the interlocking passages that enable travel from the centre to the outside as the users are connected to each other through the design of the game, which is accessed through the use of technology.

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