From IFWiki

Note: The term gnostogenesis is a new term that I just made up for this wiki. It has not been used by either IF players or reviewers prior to this article's creation. -- David Welbourn 22:13, 29 June 2008 (PDT)

Gnostogenesis is a programming technique with dubious value, where items in the game do not exist and cannot be found until the player character learns of their existence. In other words, objects are created only by gaining prior knowledge of them.

Some players may find such a fast-and-loose approach to physics rather annoying or unfair in a game that otherwise presents itself as realistic, rather than surrealistic. Players may also get frustrated once they realize a game works this way, because they can no longer trust that prior exploration of a location has been exhaustive. Game play now requires revisiting old locations frequently to see if anything changed.

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TODO: Add some examples.