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Get Lamp Documentary Review Essay

Get Lamp

Title screen

Directed byJason Scott

Release date

  • July 2010 (2010-07)
CountryUnited States

Get Lamp is a documentary about interactive fiction (a genre that includes text adventures) filmed by computer historianJason Scott of Scott conducted the interviews between February 2006 and February 2008, and the documentary was released in July 2010.[1]


The documentary and its hours of episodes and bonus footage contain material from roughly 80 interviews of interactive fiction developers, designers, and players.[2] Included in the bonus footage is a nearly 50-minute documentary about Infocom, the best-known commercial publisher of interactive fiction. The DVD release included photographs, essays, and a collectible coin.[3]

Get Lamp is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Sharealike-Noncommercial license.[4]

Raw interview footage is hosted at the Internet Archive.[5]

The name "Get Lamp" comes from the first inventory pickup in arguably the first-ever adventure game, Will Crowther's Colossal Cave Adventure, more commonly known as simply Adventure. The lamp appears as a kind of Easter Egg in every interview. The film starts off with a tour of part of the real-life Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky that Adventure was based on. The soundtrack includes Creative Commons-licensed work from Zoe Blade (who started out writing Amiga.MOD files) and Tony Longworth.[6]


Jeremy Reiner of Ars Technica called it "a gem of a film": "The documentary's peek into the culture of Infocom is one of the most fascinating stories I've seen in all of high technology."[6] Gordon Haff of CNET said it "does a great job of capturing a gaming era which is ultimately hard to separate from the history of Infocom."[7] In The Guardian, Will Freeman listed it among "Six of the Best Gaming Documentaries": "It is a low-fi doc prone to the sentimental, but takes the viewer on a journey through a world of gaming all too often forgotten now that Call of Duty and Angry Birds are household names."[8]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to GET LAMP.

By Alice O'Connor on November 24th, 2015 at 5:21 pm

If you enjoy digging through video game history, documents, and artefacts, you’ll want to have a poke around the archives of Steve Meretzky. Back in the ’80s he worked at Infocom, the interactive fiction specialists behind dozens of classics and curious including Zork, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos. Meretzky sure collected an awful lot of stuff over the years. A few years back, he let the chap behind the GET LAMP documentary rummage and scan things, and now Jason Scott has uploaded literally thousands of pages of design notebooks, letters, sales data, photos, and more as The Infocom Cabinet. That’s not even it all.

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