I was happy to see this review of a great film I used a few weeks ago in my “Video Game Culture and Theory” class.
The first five minutes of Get Lamp alone are worth watching for those who may have tinkered around on a MUD at some point, but know little about the origins of text-based gaming. It turns out that one of the first text adventure games, Colossal Cave Adventure, derived much of its design from developer Will Crowther’s expeditions in Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky. This connection is so nicely illustrative of what an outsider needs to know about the early history of text adventures — they were, in part, an attempt to translate some of the pleasures of living in the world into a new, and thus, newly-engaging, genre of fiction, as well as a new medium, taking advantage of emerging computer technology. It’s quickly clear that the cave is just one model of experience, and not some kind of shared real origin point for the whole genre, but it’s one that provides a kind of shorthand for the ambition underlying the development and play of text adventure games. —Documentary Review: Get Lamp « Fictional Fans.