Wednesday, November 21, 2012
It is pitch black...
Sometimes a person is lucky enough to have a first experience, a first taste of something, that is so amazingly, compellingly good that it forever shapes how they think about that thing. For me, that first thing was Infocom's Zork, and it gave me a lifelong love of computers and gaming.
The text adventure was a genre that ruled the landscape of early computer gaming, until advancing graphics technology inevitably supplanted text as the canvas for creating worlds on personal computers. GET LAMP, a documentary directed by Jason Scott, takes a close look at the genre, from its inception as Will Crowther's original cave-diving Adventure, to its perfection at Infocom, to its effective demise in the late 80's and resurgence in the modern era as home-grown Interactive Fiction.
Call them text adventures, or adventure games, or the more grandiose interactive fiction, these types of games created entire worlds only with words on a screen. GET LAMP brightly illuminates the forgotten dark corners, hallways and caverns of these worlds and the people who crafted them. Good thing too, because you don't want to end up reading these words:
...you were eaten by a Grue.