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§9.10. Telephones

Telephones are much harder to achieve than televisions and in some ways as difficult to make convincing as a human character is - though of course there are corners which can be cut: we could have the reception drop off, or the other party hang up in a misunderstanding, and so on.

A single telephone line is tricky enough to provide that one might just as well have a general solution providing a whole network. Four Cheeses demonstrates a system where we can dial either people or numbers: CALL JANET ON TELEPHONE, or CALL 7103, for instance.

While Four Cheeses provides only four-digit phone numbers, like internal company extensions, Alias shows how to manage US-style seven digit numbers.

Finally, we might occasionally want the player to be able to address a microphone or telephone receiver directly when the identity of the person on the other end is unknown, in the form TELL MICROPHONE ABOUT CRIME. Ordinarily Inform will disallow this because we're not allowed to talk to inanimate objects, but the extension Inanimate Listeners provides more options.

* See Saying Complicated Things for more approaches to conversation

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***ExampleFour Cheeses
A system of telephones on which the player can call distant persons and have conversations.

A telephone with phone numbers of the standard American seven-digit length.