Interactive Fiction Competition

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The Interactive Fiction Competition (also known as IFComp) is one of the best known of several annual competitions for works of interactive fiction. It has been held since 1995. It is intended for fairly short games, as judges are only allowed to spend two hours playing a game before deciding how many points to award it. The competition has been described as the "Super Bowl" of interactive fiction.[1] A reviewer for The A.V. Club said of the 2008 competition, "Once again, the IF Competition delivers some of the best writing in games."[2] The 2008 competition was described as containing "some real standouts both in quality of puzzles and a willingness to stretch the definition of text adventures/interactive fiction."[3] The competition is similar to the XYZZY Awards, and many games win awards from both competitions.

The competition is organized by Stephen Granade.[4] Although the first competition had separate sections for Inform and TADS games, subsequent competitions have not been divided into sections and are open to games produced by any method, provided that the software used to play the game is freely available. Anyone can judge the games, and anyone can donate a prize. Almost always, there are enough prizes donated that anyone who enters will get one. Entries are required to be released as freeware or public domain, reflecting the general non-profit ethos of the IF community.

In addition to the main competition, the entries take part in the Miss Congeniality contest, where the participating authors vote for three games (not including their own). This was started in 1998 to distribute that year's surplus prizes; this additional contest has remained unchanged since then, even without the original reason for its existence.

The following is a list of winners to date:

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