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.