ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

There is a Shiny Brass Lamp nearby —

I’ve been coy enough for too long.

The next documentary I am working on is about Text Adventures, or Interactive Fiction. It is called “Get Lamp”. It has a introductory website (GETLAMP.COM) and I’ve been noodling with it for about 3 years. I got serious about it in June and have been spending significant time on it since September. This is, of course, in addition to my other duties and projects.

Now why, after finishing a massive film project, would I set off on a new one? Well, it’s fun, for one thing. It’s honestly a great time travelling around, meeting people, and getting down for posterity the thoughts and statements of what I consider to be some important folks. After a decade of wanting to make movies and then not actually doing it, it’s great to accomplish what I used to dream of doing when I was a teenager. So there’s that.

I could go on about the goals, the people, the planning, the intentions, but I’ll leave that for another time. The GET LAMP website has a bunch of statements and other information that the curious might enjoy.

The rough plan is to film for a few months in the beginning of 2006.

I do have to stress that almost no potential interviewees have been contacted, so no fair being offended at not getting a letter; I like to do research and know a subject very well before bothering people with mistake-filled phone calls and e-mails. If I set off to do something like this, I want it done right. Also, this obviously isn’t set in stone and if I run into a problem, financial, logstical or otherwise, I’m not going to tilt at a windmill to make a movie in spite of reason.

But right now, the skies look clear.

Anyway, there you go, now you know.


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14 Comments

  1. Boing Boing says:

    Jason Scott’s new documentary is about text adventures

    A reader writes, “Readers of his blog will know that Jason Scott (creator of the BBS Documentary) has just announced his plans for a new documentary. On the Text Adventure world!” The next documentary I am working on is about Text Adventures, or Intera…

  2. Punching Judy says:

    Heh you wanker. BoingBoing is practically now your official press release room. Also, you need to maxx more.

  3. Howard Dickins says:

    I love text adventures, so I’ll be keen to see your Getlamp documentary. I just thought I’d mention that a few months ago, I was playing “Mornington Crescent” online – but Zork-style. (Unfortunately, it was interrupted by the London underground bombings – but hey, it had been fun.)

    For a transcript:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/F2137311?thread=367676&skip=2640&show=20
    BBC – h2g2 – A Conversation Forum

    Read from post 2656 onwards.
    (I am ‘uncle ghengis’ btw)

  4. A Reader says:

    Enjoy the boingboinging, Jason :-)

  5. A Reader says:

    Also, I posted it on Boingboing. Not Jason.

  6. Looking forward to finally seeing Steve Meretzky :)

  7. Text Adventure Documentary Coming

    This is teh aw3sum. Jason Scott, who made the most excellent BBS Documentary,
    has decided to make a text adventure documentary now. It, eagerly, await I.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If I were you, I’d chat with some folks on ifmud –
    http://ifmud.port4000.com:4001/

    That, and the rec.arts.interactive-fiction and rec.games.interactive-fiction newsgroups are the center of the contemporary IF community.

    Also, check out Nick Montfort’s book “Twisty Little Passages” from MIT press for good resources.

  9. Diane Duane says:

    Dear Jason,

    I did this once upon a time.

    “Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative” was the first “sanctioned” Trek text adventure.

    Check with me for details.

    Best! — Diane

  10. Man ….

    First BBSes now *this !!!!

    Does Jason know what cool buttons ta push or *what ?!? lol

    I’m SO lookin’ forward ta this ….

  11. Steve Brown says:

    Hi Jason,

    If you’d like any input on the preservation of text adventures, specifically for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, drop me a line. I’m in the middle of producing an article on the subject for Adventure Probe magazine.

    If you could also help me track down some adventures as yet un-preserved, I’d appreciate it.

    Cheers, Steve
    http://tzxvault.retrogames.com
    ZX Spectrum Tape Preservation

  12. chipple.net says:

    Get Lamp

    Jason Scott is at it again! The director of the excellent BBS Documentary has announced his next project, “Get Lamp”,…

  13. Scarface says:

    The newsgroups are a poor place to look for text adventure info. They will just spout about IF, not text adventure. The MUDs are the place to go, they are the real preservation of the text adventure “lamp”, so to speak.

  14. yelahneb says:

    This is fantastic news! I bought the BBS doc for my dad for father’s day; he, my brother and i had such a time watching it, delighted that this amazing epoch of the information age we happily lived through had finally gotten a fair treatment.

    Now this; rapture! My first text adventure game was Scott Adams’ “Adventureland”, in the form of a fat old cartridge for the Vic20. After that, it was various games from Aardvark Software; ‘Mars’, ‘Pyramid’ and ‘Derelict’, all on tape cassette. ‘Zork’ was the one that doomed me as a geek; I played (and talked about) each one incessantly, much to the derision of my peers. And so on…

    Anyway. Great idea, awesome title, can’t wait to pre-order it!

    >exit room