Get Lamp: A documentary about text based adventure games

Like many people of my vintage who were introduced to computer games in their very early stages, I played quite a few text adventure games in my youth. Back in my day games didn’t even have pictures. You had to use your imagination. And type relatively specific commands to achieve even the simplest of functions.

I haven’t watched Get Lamp, this 2 hour doco yet, because I’m on my in-laws’ farm, and doing so would wipe out their mobile internet quota. Somewhat ironically. Given it is about text. But I’m filing this in the “watch later” pile. Get lamp gets its name from the first command one would type when finding themselves in the eponymous dark room at the start of just about every text based game known to man.

Did you play any text based adventure games? Get nostalgic in the comments.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

3 thoughts on “Get Lamp: A documentary about text based adventure games”

  1. We didn’t have a computer when Zork and other text-based games came out, so I found myself reading the Fighting Fantasy books. Those were gamebooks in which each page presented the reader with an important choice to make that affected the course of the game.

  2. I had a Scottish adventure book that involved dice. And big Scottish swords. It was like a sophisticated choose your own adventure book.

  3. God, yes, I remember playing “The Hobbit” at my old ZX Spectrum back in the eraly eighties (VERY early). It was a blast. Then I discovered several other text-based adventures, and while some of them had graphics, most were simply text scrolling down at the B&W TV screen while I typed furiously my way out of a labyrinth or something. At the time, it was awesome.

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