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Mike Berlyn Needs Our Help

Mark Blank Michael Berlyn 1985

Michael Berlyn, one of Infocom's more prolific authors (Suspended, Cuththroats, Infidel, Fooblitsky, Zork - The-Undiscovered Underground) is raising $36k for cancer treatment. His games touched a lot of peoples lives. Lets do the right thing and help Mike out. Go to GoFundMe to make a donation.


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I was lucky to get Mike Berlyn as a judge for the 1999 IF Art Show. At that time a few former Infocomers were looking in on raif now and then.

Around this time, I was having lot of trouble communicating in raif. I did not consider my posts "published," but just dashed off -- like posts in a chat room. I tended to incomplete thoughts, run-on sentences, and poor grammar. I talked with via email Mike Berlyn about my frustration. He was a good writer and, with his wife, had taught several writing classes.

He wrote to me... "Talking (chat rooms, conversations, etc.) is a two-way process with a built-in feedback process. You can quickly see if you were misunderstood. Writing is one-way communication process with no feedback built-in. You cannot take the chance of being misunderstood. "

"Writing is a process through which we communicate ideas... The purpose of grammar and spelling correctly is to help the reader not let the words get in the way. People are used to seeing certain patterns, and once seen, these patterns melt into the background process."

"...language, in one-way communications, requires stating what we want to communicate in the clearest, most direct manner possible in order to avoid being misunderstood. In that way, language should become invisible."

That was so clear, I got it and my writing improved. I've always been grateful.

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