Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Special Utah “Get Lamp” Presentation

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 6, 2010

This is from Mike Rubin, developer of “Vespers 3D.” I’m just passing along the info:

Utah Gamers:

I thought I would let you know about a special film screening that will be taking place in SLC next weekend, since it is related to the computer games industry.

Many of you know the first computer games probably originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and were entirely based on text input and output. One of the first games was Colossal Cave, also known as ADVENT or Adventure — a game designed by Will Crowther (and later expanded by Don Woods) to reproduce the experience of exploring the Bedquilt portion of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The game is recognized as the first computer adventure game, and laid the foundation for an entire industry of adventure games, including well-known (to us old people, at least) games like Zork and others from Infocom — perhaps the best and most successful commerical text adventure game company in the 1980s. These games, it could be argued, helped spawn the entire computer games industry as we know it.

Some of you may know Jason Scott; he is a digital historian and archivist who specializes in early computer history, particularly the old dial-up bulletin board systems. He is also a documentary filmmaker, who previously made a film on the history of those old BBS systems. This past month he finally released his latest work, GET LAMP, a documentary film about those old text adventure games and the people who made them. As he describes it:

“Rising from side projects at universities and engineering companies, adventure games would describe a place, and then ask what to do next. They presented puzzles, tricks and traps to be overcome. They were filled with suspense, humor and sadness. And they offered a unique type of joy as players discovered how to negotiate the obstacles and think their way to victory. These players have carried their memories of these text adventures to the modern day, and a whole new generation of authors have taken up the torch to present a new set of places to explore. GET LAMP is a documentary that will tell the story of the creation of these incredible games, in the words of the people who made them.”

I have invited Jason to come to SLC for a special in-person screening of the movie, with commentary and Q&A to follow. The screening will take place at Brewvies in downtown SLC (677 South 200 West) on Sunday, September 12th at 7:30PM. It will be open to the public, and admission is FREE. Brewvies has a capacity of 160, so there should be plenty of seats. However, keep in mind that because Brewvies serves beer, only those 21 and over are allowed in.

Please come and support the event! Jason is a fascinating and entertaining person, and knows a heck of a lot about computers, computer history, filmmaking, the demoscene, and much more, and is just a very cool person to listen to.

There is a Facebook page for the event at <http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144306705605385>.  The official web site for the movie is at <http://www.getlamp.com>. Check it out, and let me know if you think you will be able to make it. Hope to see you there!

– Mike Rubin

(Note: You can probably contact him via the facebook page)

Filed Under: Adventure Games - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Jeremy, Text Game Ninja said,

    I can’t be there as it is too far away, but see if you can talk him into doing something about online text games (MUDs).