Get Lamp (8/10)

Get Lamp is a documentary about text adventure games from Jason Scott, the director of BBS: The Documentary. Both of these films cover some rather geeky areas of computing, but, having read Twisty Little Passages, I was much better acquainted with the world of interactive fiction.The film is based almost entirely on interviews with various I.F. luminaries. These interviews focus more on the individuals’ personal connections with interactive fiction rather than a more direct history of the genre. Of all the types of video games, text adventures are about as close as a game can get to being an art form, and the film explores this notion in quite some depth. Personally, I think preferred the bonus footage (which fills an entire second DVD) to the main feature because these went a little more off into more niche areas of the topic with which I was less familiar.  For the main film, I guess I would have liked to see more historical material and less talking heads. Throughout the interviews Scott has a habit of dropping to a black screen while the audio continues. Why not throw up some old photos, game art , or anything to make the film more visually interesting. Well, I suppose talking is the cinematic equivalent of text output. So, I guess this isn’t a huge complaint.

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