Zombie Run: A New Sort of Interactive Fiction?

Recently, while talking to one of my friends about getting fit for the summer, I stumbled upon an interesting application. My friend, Jeremy, has constructed a workout plan centered around running. As the topic changed from workout strategies to music to get you pumped and ready, Jeremy told me that he doesn’t listen to music while he runs. Instead, he informed me about a cool new application that is designed like an interactive game, its called “Zombie Run.” After hearing from him a bit about how the app works and what it entails, I decided to do a bit of research of my own to learn more about the application. As I researched, I came across the official website and even a neat YouTube video that explains a bit more about this new app. I was also able to borrow my friends phone for a quick run and test the app for myself.


Having seen the video and how the app works, I would like to pose a few questions to you and really challange the idea of interactive fiction. The way that “Zombie Run” is designed makes it an interactive story. Unlike games before it, the user does not interact with an interface to build the story. As the video shows, the distance run is what effects the story line and the users movements such as time and pace affect the overall plot of the story. I really thought it was neat how the application allows the user to build a base primary derived from the that users interaction.

Having said this, I also considered this course and, whether or not, we could classify this new app as a form of interactive fiction. I think that the fact that the user can interact with the story, alone, makes it interactive fiction. The only reason why I would even remotely consider that this is not interactive fiction is because the way the game is designed now, there are only a few set paths that the story can follow. Though the user interacts with the story line, the paths that it can follow have been programed that way and are actually already set. It is the users interactions with the story that unlocks the next level. Also the fact that the way the user interacts with the program is not through any real set interface.The user simply needs to run and this becomes the interaction. I personally feel that, thought the user does not physically interact with any sort of interface, this work still counts as interactive fiction because some sort of interaction is occurring with the story.

So I ask you my friends, what do you think? Do you think that “Zombie Run” could be considered interactive fiction? If so what elements make it so? If not, why?

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