Personified parser

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A personified parser is a parser identified with a non-player character within the game world. The typed commands of the player are interpreted as instructions to this character, who attempts to carry them out (or passes the message along to someone else) and then reports back. Sometimes, but not always, all text output is to be interpreted as this character's speech. In some cases, a few specific commands (such as examining the parser-character) will not be interpreted as spoken instructions. Unlike the standard IF second-person approach, which intentionally blurs the lines between parser, player and PC, this approach emphasises the distinctions.

Many borderline cases exist; for instance, it is frequently ambiguous whether default parser responses are to be interpreted as the narrative voice of an impersonal author, or as the thoughts of the PC.

Examples

  • Bellclap (Tommy Herbert; 2004; Z-code). The character who makes input decisions is a god; the god's instructions are relayed by a divine messenger (the parser) to a worshipper (the PC). Text output is phrased as the messenger's speech.
  • When Help Collides (J.D. Berry; 2002; Z-code). The Bleach of Etiquette and Level 50 sections personify the parser, as a secretary and a GM respectively. Text output is not the same as the speech of these characters.