Get Lamp

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Cover art for GET LAMP.
Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary (http://www.getlamp.com/) is an documentary film project by Jason Scott, Filmed between 2006-2008 and released in 2010. Filming started in February of 2006 with an interview of Mike Berlyn, with pre-production research taking place at least a year before that.

From the Introduction page on the GET LAMP website:

"With limited sound, simple graphics, and tiny amounts of computing power, the first games on home computers would hardly raise an eyebrow in the modern era of photorealism and surround sound. In a world of Quake, Half-Life and Halo, it is expected that a successful game must be loud, fast, and full of blazing life-like action. But 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 will tell the story of the creation of these incredible games, in the words of the people who made them." [1]

News and Historical Points

  • May 2002: Jason Scott registers GETLAMP.COM.
  • October 2005: Scott announces GET LAMP production and opening of website.
  • December 2005: The Get Lamp Adventurer's Club, a pre-order page for the documentary, added to the Get Lamp website. 50 groups or individuals sign up, raising $5,000 for the production.
  • February 2006: Filming/Interviews begin.
  • January 2007: Editing begins, with filming continuing.
  • January 2008: Jason announces that filming has completed, although a number of postdated interviews occur.
  • March 2010: Get Lamp previews at PAX East 2010.
  • July 2010: Jason announces GET LAMP arrives shortly.
  • August 2010: GET LAMP Ships.

Content

GET LAMP consists of two DVDs.

The first a collection of three main features as well as a slide-show-based text introduction by adventure game columnist Scorpia. "GET LAMP" is a general documentary on the story of text adventures, covering a number of subjects ranging from the genre's roots in caving and home computer available, up through to the "modern" era of interactive fiction creation and groups. "Bedquilt" is a study and tour of the cave system (Bedquilt, part of Mammoth Cave) that the original game "Adventure" is based on. "Infocom" is a roughly 50 minute documentary on the game company Infocom told from the point of view of players and employees of the company.

The second disc contains a music video by MC Frontalot, entitled "It is Pitch Dark", as well as a "Bonus Features" section with 30 short films, ranging from 20 minutes to less than 1 minute, covering additional subjects. This second disc also contains a DVD-ROM section with games, photos, videos and audio related to the production, or provided by current interactive fiction authors.

Interviewees

Note:

(cast) = Link to the interviewee's cast page on the Get Lamp website.
(clips) = Link to raw interview footage available at the Internet Archive.

People filmed for the documentary include:

Plus:

Links

News stories about the film

Reviews

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