I keep seeing a post on one of the social media sites that instead of trying to make niche genres like Interactive Fiction more mainstream and financially viable, people should just focus on the craft instead. And since people keep sharing this weird take that I strongly disagree with, I guess I have to explain why I don’t like it.
I really don’t think it’s unreasonable to want interactive fiction to be more mainstream and commercially viable nor do I think it’s an unobtainable goal. A lot of people read so why couldn’t reading with some interactivity be commercially successful too? It was a financially viable genre for like, 10-15 years, and could still be considered one if you’re talking about companies like Choice of Games and games like Lifeline being huge hits. Depending on your definition of the genre, visual novels are a part of IF and are massively popular.
Obviously capitalism is bad and there’s more to making games than if they can make a lot of money but why shouldn’t we push for more visibility of games that are only considered “niche” because don’t pander to some bro gamer culture. If we’re talking about games made with Twine and Ink, it’s one of the most approachable ways to make games and one of the genres where I see the most queer stories. I really think that the thing that keeps IF from being bigger, especially with non-parser IF, is that a lot of people who love to read just don’t know about it.