Creator of Choose Your Own Adventures June 6, 2006
  Edward Packard
Interviewed in: Long Island, NY
When I set out to do the text adventure documentary, I knew I wouldn't be strictly adhering to computer game authors and players as interview subjects; I also knew I wanted people who wrote in the same sort of fashion. One of the big figures in the literary world as regards interactive fiction is Edward Packard, who wrote Sugarcane Island, a multi-pathed storybook, in 1969. It was published in 1976 by Vermont Crossroads press, and later by Bantam Books. It was at Bantam that this and the other books in the series were branded the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, which is the most popular and well-known name for them.

After some effort, I was able to contact Ed Packard's family who got him in contact with me. After that, it was a matter of arranging time for an interview, and that finally happened for the beginning of June, 2006.

Mr. Packard was on Long Island during this time, and so we arranged to meet there with me taking a ferry from New London, Connecticut to Orient Point, New York. I can't remember the last time I was on a Ferry but I don't know if I was out of college when it happened. It was a very, very enjoyable and refreshing ride, hanging out on this fast passenger ferry on the way out that had a full snack bar and TV, and the ability to ignore the TV and stand out on deck on top. I took some photos of the interior and took some shots of the lamp and the water with my camera.

Mr. Packard was able to arrange a room at the Greenport Library, and we conducted the interview down there. The staff was very gracious about us, and let me have free reign in setting up things.

We covered his history, his process, and his thoughts about the whole genre of interactive fiction and wiriting for children. He actually hasn't really played any computer text adventures, so it was doubly-gracious to my perspective to agree to be interviewed for this documentary.

I had a nice meal with Mr. Packard at a Greek restaurant and then caught the next ferry out, getting home around evening, and having had a whole day as an adventure of my own.

Footage Screenshots
Files and Collections
cane_map.gif (44K) Map of the flow of Sugarcane Island, drawn by Damien Katz (2001)
Production Photos