New Media

Eliza, Zork, and Computer Programs

Computers and computer based entertainments are becoming more story like.

These are becoming more and more popular. It expands the need and want for computers worldwide.

This greatly expands the power for computers.

Eliza is computer program that was created s an experiment in language. She became a sort of therapist to her communicators. She never gave advice, however she did respond to the patient. The main topics that were discussed were sex and family. There are keywords that Eliza looked for in order to formulate an appropriate response. If the word everybody was used, the response might be who is everybody or anyone person in particular. Eliza became a good therapist and became very persuasive. The creator was impressed, most people did not know that Eliza was a computer program.

ELIZA- computer program that was an experiment in the natural language process.

Sort of a therapist

Echoes back concerns of patient without interpretations

Sex and family

Eliza- persuasive and good therapist

Many things can happen with a computer. If you want to create or share something you need a computer. This goes along with the power of computers and the rules that they are based to follow.

Power of computer and rules

The computer is an engine

Zork is similar to Eliza in the way that Zork is made. However, Eliza is about conversation, whereas Zork is about a game; hero quests to be precise.

Zork- similar to ELIZA

Eliza- conversationalist

Zork- intellectual challenges, mock hero quests

Eliza- cleverness of the machine

Zork- experience of the participant

Set up to provide opportunities to make decisions and see the results

Zork tests the limits of the program

Creators anticipated each action even inappropriate ones

Earliest version of hypertext- classic American quest; wilderness, imposition of order, chaos, and mastering various resources

Computer stimulations are interesting because of the complexity

Computer is a tool for modeling systems in order to represent out ideas of world organization

Liminal- threshold; Latin; describe experiences in which an object, a ritual, or a story occurs somewhere between the world of ordinary experiences and the world of the sacred

Tristian Shandy does his best to remind the reader they are reading a book. A physical thing.

“Postmodern hypertext tradition celebrates the indeterminate text as a liberation from the tyranny of the author and an affirmation of the reader’s freedom of interpretation” (133).

Using the labyrinth means evoking and controlling terror in a story that gradually increases, also known as violence hub (135).

Accounts or incidents of violence, real or invented article from the newspaper, and it is explored from multiple view points; center of the web story


A linear story ends at one place.

Multithread story has multiple retellings, converge into a single event

Computer based quests have a satisfying way to end once the boss is killed and the mission is completed.


Computers and their software have greatly progressed since they first came around. This will continue to happen as long as we have curious programmers and software designers. Ones who are willing to push past what they have done. Eliza and Zork are the base programs for anything we do today. Zork can be seen as the basis for any video game, pc game, or console game in existence. The quests that are constantly played are a part of Zork’s quest hero missions.

Eliza makes it easier to talk to others via internet and computer. It is easier to open up to someone when you do not have to see their face or hear judgment in their voice.


These programs have progressed in ways that were unimaginable just ten years ago. If we continue down the road we are currently on with our technology, there is no telling what we will come up with next.


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