Presented at The Next HOPE (2010)
July 16, 2010, 11 p.m.
In the early 1980s, an entire industry rose over the telling of tales, the solving of intricate puzzles, and the art of writing. Like living books, these games described fantastic worlds to their readers, and then invited them to live within them. They were called “computer adventure games,” and they used the most powerful graphics processor in the world: the human mind. 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 tells the story of the creation of these incredible games, in the words of the people who made them. Director Jason Scott has previously created BBS: The Documentary, partially filmed at HOPE, and will be on hand to introduce and show the documentary, as well as talk about the production of Get Lamp and his filmmaking, including lessons learned, trivia and stories told, and how exactly one goes about minting a commemorative coin.
Jason Scott is a computer historian known for either his website textfiles.com, his documentaries BBS and Get Lamp, his Twittering cat Sockington, his presentations and speeches at many different conventions, or his insistence on never shutting up. He lives a little north of here.