Interactive fiction relies on a Christian-influenced, Western European-centric sense of space. Grid-like, organized, navigable. Mappable. In a word, knowable.
Occasionally, to evoke the irrational, the unmappable, the unknowable, interactive fiction employs mazes. The connection of these textual mazes to the labyrinthine Middle Eastern bazaar that appears in, say Raiders of the Lost Ark, is unacknowledged and usually unintentional.
We cannot truly understand the role that mazes play vis-à-vis the usual Cartesian grid in interactive fiction unless we also understand the interplay between these dissimilar ways of organizing spaces in real life, which are bound up in social, cultural, and historical conflict. In particular, the West has valorized the rigid grid while looking with disdain upon organic irregularity.
The town is the upper limit in a game world. There may be multiple but a city is beyond reason. Moving downwards - villages, settlements, houses.
By the ocean: the beach. In the bay: the port. Through the water: the swamp. Along the river: the town. Up the river: the mountain. Beyond the mountain: the desert.
Domain, dwelling. The personal space enmeshed with the public. Not a destruction of privacy - a return to historical forms - the medieval village or the greek home. Dissolution of the family unit into the town.
Linear path through the world? Island sections or islands?