I disagree more or less completely with your two propositions.
A proposition is a suggestion for something to be considered, accepted, adopted, or done. I didn't offer any propositions. I offered an opinion. It's cool to disagree, of course. I didn't expect people who didn't share my view to also share my opinions.
It's not stagnation if people who aren't interested in writing novels or short stories don't write them. It's a great thing.
I agree. I would imagine it is an interesting ground in which to stake a certain amount of creativity. If that's all you want, go for it. I wasn't suggesting people shouldn't work on IF. (I do notice people get overly defensive in the IF community; I don't see this same defensiveness in any other gaming community of which I'm a part.)
Moreover anyone truly interested in writing for games could not ask for a better format than IF.
That's way too categorical and I know many, many, many game developers who do ask for (and find) better formats than IF. But they are also looking to reach much wider audiences and also bolster some other skill set. I actually could see IF being used to bolster a skill set in being a writer since I imagine many of the same skills in telling a story could apply. I rarely if ever see those discussions here, though.
There are a bare handful of commercial games with a distinctive, well-written narrative. It's not a quality that the industry prizes, to put it mildly.
Since I work in the game industry (and have done so for the last fifteen years), I can tell you this is totally incorrect. It is a qualitly that the industry is coming to prize and respect more and more. Yes, there are many games that don't display "distinctive, well-written narrative." But the same applies to IF. Even going back aways, lots of people did respond to the characters and story lines of old Sierra games and certainly games like The Dig, Monkey Island, Broken Sword, Tunguska, Beneath a Steel Sky, and so on. More recently, games like Alpha Protocol, Call of Duty (the modern warfare and black ops variants), Fallout, Longest Journey, Splinter Cell, Culpa Innata, Old Republic, and many others are just some of those trying to incorporate better writing and provide a more diverse experience. You may argue that they don't succeed by your criterion -- but those writers are reaching a much wider audience and having their experiments at writing and telling stories put to much greater test than just about any work of IF. As such, the industry has a wide user base to learn from and it's a user base that continually experiments with RPG, first-person shooter, and hybrid games, often moving between them, allowing a good interplay of idea and technique.
There are many more first rate IF writers .... each year the top half of the IF Comp contains more original thought and displays more raw talent than the vast bulk of commercial games released in the last twelve months
Way too categorical for me and way too subjective. As a opinion, it's cool. But you seem to state it as fact and then just expect others to accept that. (Again, a trait I notice in people who seem to feel the need to defend IF.)
You seem to have a lot of opinions -- like me -- so that's cool. But you seem to have a categorical view of how much better IF writers are than those in other game venues. Since IF is never put to any real test except within its own isolated community (or forays into the "casual gaming" crowd), I guess for the time being you don't have to worry about your claims being tested in any sort of overly critical way.
Any gamer who genuinely cares about narrative quality should be familiar with IF.
Rather, I would say that any gamer who likes a narrative component to their game play experience should, if they are a well-rounded gamer, be familiar with those IF games that do put a focus on narrative so they can determine if this is yet one more gaming experience they would enjoy. To say it is "narrative quality" begs the question. It's not "quality" unless the gamer thinks it is.