Computer games in the early 1980s depended more on imagination than graphics cards. In the early days of computer gaming, PC’s offered text based adventures, the most famous of which were the Infocom adventures of ZORK. Text-based adventures started in the late 1970s and were popular well into the 90s. They were a great blend of story and interactive RPG and I remember spending hours going n, n, s, se, sw, look at mailbox, open mailbox, take leaflet, read leaflet, n, open door, etc.
Well, my favorite computer documentarian, Jason Scott (who directed and produced the awesome documentary BBS, which every geek/nerd should purchase) is starting a documentary on the history of the Text-based Adventures. I was fortunate enough to meet Jason Scott at an IT convention in NY City. He’s a very approachable, intelligent fellow and I’m really happy to see him working on another documentary. By the way, if you’re old enough to remember local-dialup BBS’ing, the BBS Documentary will be a trip down memory lane and is very much worth buying.
But for this new documentary, he’s calling it Get Lamp, which brings back memories if you’ve ever played these classic text-based adventures. Filming continued into December, 2007. I expect he’ll be posting new info to the site soon, meanwhile, click on the thumbnails of the interviews, some of the pictures offer short biographies of those interviewed.
The wikipedia link for ZORK has many links at the bottom, where many of the original games have been ported to web-based versions, for all to enjoy.
Also, I’ve had in my 8-bit nostalgia section a link to the original Zork, web-based: