Kleptomania

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"The Well-Dressed Adventurer likes to carry everything around with him at all times, for he never knows when he might need it."
(source)

Many IF games feature a protagonist who indiscriminately acquires a massive stash of items and carries them all around with him. Sometimes these items include treasure, but generally the player will abscond with everything that isn't nailed down, and some things which are. There may be a justification for all this acquisitiveness, but often it will simply be taken for granted.

Classic Examples

Advantages

  • Traditional IF is largely about the clever manipulation of objects to solve puzzles, and author resources reflect that.
  • It is a convention of IF, so most people are unlikely to be alarmed by it; mimesis isn't broken unless the audience feels that it is.
  • Because the audience will be familiar with the style of play, they will not have much difficulty settling into the game.
  • Having an enormous inventory of intriguing and useful objects can be a lot of fun.
  • Player convenience. Although in the normal settings of real life we're unlikely to start carrying around an object unless we have an immediate need for it, the player of an IF game is more akin to an explorer or hunter-gatherer than a comfortable domestic, regardless of the actual setting. They have no way of predicting when a vagary of the plot might whisk them away to a completely different area, or require a particular item immediately; they may not have good enough recall of their surroundings to be able to immediately know where something is, or to remember all potentially useful items without hitting >I every now and then; and in any case, trudging back and forth across the map is far more inconvenient than just having everything along with you. All else being equal, unreasonable inventory limits are a worse crime than kleptomania.

Disadvantages

Links