In video games, it’s important to regularly take stock of your inventory. This is especially true of classic adventure games, where the items on your person are often the key to making progress (or surviving a minotaur charge). Before the picture-heavy interfaces of the point-and-click games appeared, text-based adventure titles relied on a simple command from a player to see what they were carrying. By typing “inventory” into the little command window, a list of items would splash across the screen, and a recent Twitter account is providing folks with the chance to check their virtual pockets once again.
Andrew Vestal has created a Twitter bot that pulls from a list of over 1000 items to create lists for anyone who reaches out to the account. Simply tweet “inventory” or “I” to @YouAreCarrying, and you will receive a random assortment of items as a reply. All of these lists are made up of bits and baubles straight from old Infocom games, which can lead to a bit of confusion for those of us who haven’t played Zork before (get ready to Google).
A fantastic side effect of this digital delight is that so many people have taken the lists produced by the bot and drawn the results as a sort of self-portrait. Mr. Vestal actively encourages people to share their labeled drawings with YouAreCarrying, which makes following the account even more enjoyable. Laura and I decided to have a little bit of fun with our lists, by sharing our inventories and drawing each other’s picture. Please enjoy the results below:
Laura’s Inventory, drawn by Chip: a white rod, a gun receipt, a large fly, a second seventeen-centimeter fromitz board, a pair of goggles, a laser, a lunch.
Chip’s Inventory, drawn by Laura: a cannonball, a hatchet, plaster dust, a Remington, a small piece of vitreous slag, a bottle of Scotch, a zorkmid coin.
Why not shoot a tweet to @YouAreCarrying right now and see what’s in your inventory? The contents of your virtual backpack may surprise you.