In brief, there are generally two different things people on this group use the word "mimesis" to refer to:
(1) The extent to which the player feels like she's experiencing what the game tells her she is, rather than experiencing the sensation of typing on a keyboard and watching words scroll by on a screen;
(2) The extent to which stuff in the game seems to work the way things work in real life, or at least the extent to which it maintains a degree of internal consistency.

- the FAQ

Brad O' Donnell: I thought that "mimesis" was the "M" word ... and what *is* mimesis, again?
Neil K. Guy: I think it's a kind of houseplant. You can get both linear and variegated types. Handles low light well.
-, April 13, 1997, as quoted in Sins Against Mimesis

Following the release of Roger Giner-Sorolla's influencial essay Crimes Against Mimesis (1996), the interactive fiction community began to strive for ways to increase the level of mimesis found in text adventures. (Some might argue that the community became obsessed with this goal.) Sins Against Mimesis (by Adam Thornton) - an entry in the 1997 IF Competition - is a parody of this process, and a game which can perhaps be credited with creating the interactive fiction genre of in-joke games, written solely for the enjoyment of other members of the interactive fiction community. (Because of this, I do not recommend playing Sins Against Mimesis unless you are familiar with the text adventure genre. It will make absolutely no sense.)

In the 1997 Xyzzy Awards, Sins Against Mimesis was nominated for "Best Setting", "Best Individual Puzzle" (defeating the Kunkel), and "Best Individual NPC" (the devil).

Relevant Links:

  • "Sins Against Mimesis" is available at
  • The essay Crimes Against Mimesis is available at

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