Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities:

“You are standing at the end of a road
before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream
flows out of the building and down a gully.”

Recognize these lines? They’re from the opening screen of Will
Crowther’s ADVENTURE (1975), the first example of the genre known as
interactive fiction and arguably our first example of a virtual world
(and as such the distant ancestor to places like World of Warcraft and
Second Life). There is also an appropriate literary resonance: this
path in the forest where the straight way is lost is reminiscent of
another great underground epic.

As part of our work on a project funded by the Library of Congress
dedicated to Preserving Virtual Worlds
(, MITH will be hosting a table-read of
the original version of ADVENTURE, recently recovered from backup tapes
at Stanford University. We will read through the complete text of the
game, and also (geeks that we are) have a look at its FORTRAN source

We’re inviting anyone with an interest in gaming, interactive
fiction, or virtual worlds to join us for an hour or two on Thursday,
May 15, at 12:00 noon in our conference room (MITH is located on the
basement level of McKeldin Library). Appropriately, we will provide
tasty food: pizza. As with all adventures, we’re unsure of where this
one will end or exactly how we will get there. But there are sure to be
breathtaking views along the way. Please RSVP to mgk at umd dot edu if
you would like to attend.

The timing is right… I think I’m going to be able to attend this. Woo hoo!