The first computer game I spent much time with was Original Adventure, roughly around 1980. That was followed by Dungeon (the precursor to Zork) and then just about every game created by Infocom.
Soon after, all I wanted to do was write text adventure games. Over time, that evolved to games and entertainment in general–as well as multiuser online experiences that found their origin in online computer games.
If you’re curious about the start of the computer game industry, then you should check out Get Lamp, a documentary about the heyday of the text adventure game. I’m briefly interviewed in it (I published a commercial online multiplayer text game, or MUD, called Legends of Future Past in 1992)–and am humbled to share the screen with the likes of Steve Meretzky and Dave Lebling who made the products that inspired my fascination with computers, technology and the business of entertainment. These are games that are incredibly influential, and continue to impact many of the games we play today.
You can order a copy of Get Lamp here. It is produced by Jason Scott, who is a unique filmmaker who is capturing stories about the history of the computer industry that nobody else is. I hope you’ll order a copy, which will help him continue to do more work like this.