Search Results for: jason scott

A word in support of history

This post is not about me. It is about Jason Scott.

Jason Scott is a big loud blabbermouth who, in several subtle ways, helped get me to where I am today. I don't mean the Kickstarter invite he gave me, which I used to launch my project a year ago. I mean his giant documentary about text adventures. (Which featured my face, amidst a crowd of IF faces and places.) That movie -- no: the response to that movie -- assured me that there was a place for an independent hacker to pursue interactive storytelling, in this uncertain world, and be supported for it.

Jason Scott, an overdressed loon who will not shut up, funded his movie through Kickstarter. A year ago, I looked at his Kickstarter pitch -- no, the response to his pitch -- and said: this funding thing works. I can do this.

Then I asked him, more or less, "Should I try this?" And he said, more or less, "Of course. Hello. Duh." So here I am. But this post is not about me.

Jason Scott (an Internet addict and obsessive downloader) has posted a Kickstarter pitch for three new documentaries. He wants to do a movie about the 6502 processor, a movie about tape -- video, audio, data -- and a movie about arcades. He is asking for a big pile of money. As I write this, he has roughly one-seventh of a big pile accumulated.

It is my assertion that Jason (blabbermouth, loon, obsessive) should achieve his big pile and make his movies. I don't say this because he's helped me out. I say this because this is what he does. He accumulates information about the history of the computer age -- obsessively. He collects files and interviews people. He turns computer folklore into computer history.

He does not shut up because he has accumulated a vast amount of this interesting stuff in his head and he wants to tell it to you. He gives lectures, or you can just have dinner with him -- it's the information faucet either way. In his documentaries, mind you, he does not talk. You won't see his face much on film. There, he shuts up, gets out of the way, and lets his subjects (and his subject) speak for themselves.

(As for "overdressed", I can't fit that into this narrative. Jason just likes to dress up.)

Get Lamp was Jason's second big movie. His first was BBS: The Documentary. Go trawl those sites if you want an idea how his movies work. I bought a copy of BBS back in '05, while trying to decide whether to let this guy point a camera at me, and I was convinced. Check them out. Or, heck, go looking for the movies themselves online. Jason releases everything under Creative Commons licenses. You can download them if you want -- he's cool with that. If you think they're worth money, buy the nice DVD editions. If you think the upcoming movies are worth money, donate to his Kickstarter project. That is all.

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Three upcoming documentaries on games

We seem to be entering a nexus of documentaries about games. Far be it from me to do anything but encourage further flowering in this field! Witness:

Lorien Green has released a clip of Gone Cardboard, a film about board games -- particularly Eurogames, by the looks of it -- and the people who play them. She expects to release the final cut in early 2011. (Link via Kevin Jackson-Mead.)

The enigmatically named Spinach hopes to produce a doc about people who create digital games, called You Meet the Nicest People Making Videogames. That link leads to the project's Kickstarter fundraising page, which includes a teaser he filmed at GDC. Mr. Spinach approaches this endeavor from scratch, and needs help covering both equipment and travel costs, a position I can certainly appreciate. He's a quarter of the way to his goal, so far... (Link via Anna Anthropy.)

And of course, just 49 hours and 15 minutes after I type these words, I plan on attending the world premiere of Jason Scott's Get Lamp at PAX East. It is part of the interactive fiction track which is of course the real reason to attend the show, ho ho. Jason's been working on this film for years, and I was privileged to see a clip a few months ago at a Boston IF meetup. It's gonna be a goodie.

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Get Lamp at PAX East

I insinuated this before, but now I can pass the word:

I have pretty much committed to premiering GET LAMP at PAX East in the end of March. That means I am going to want to have BOXES of GET LAMP at PAX East at the end of March. That means, well... that means I just bought myself a metric assload of personal pain. But it's pain that will result in an amazing product. So let's enjoy the pain, shall we.

--jscott, in email, updating his Sabbatical status

I look forward to seeing myself blather about IF. With lots of other IF aficionados(*) sitting next to me, mocking my blathering. It'll be great! Show up.

(* "Each with his bottle of aficiolemonade." Oh, Google, you take all the fun out of being obscure.)

EDIT-ADD: You can now pre-order the DVD set.

EDIT-ADD, 12/23: The Penny Arcaders just posted that PAX-East is filling up fast:

Imagine our surprise when looking at pre-registration numbers, it became clear that PAX East would be as big if not bigger than our Seattle show. I can't believe I'm saying this about the first year of PAX East, but if pre-registration keeps going like this we will probably have to cap attendance just like we did this year in Seattle.

Decide soon whether you're interested, folks.

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IF breaking news

Logged on this morning and found three, three, three vonderful things about IF that I didn't know last night!


Rover's Day Out, by Jack Welch and Ben Collins-Sussman, has won the 2009 IF Competition. Congrats!

Broken Legs (Sarah Morayati) and Snowquest (Eric Eve) took second and third; full results are online. The Gameshelf's own Kevin Jackson-Mead got 21st place with his entry Gleaming the Verb. He is reported to be happy not to be last. :)

Congratulations to everybody.


Jason Scott has achieved his fundraising goal of $25000.

I chose $25000 because that would remove, summarily, any living costs and basic needs I would have while I was working on my projects. The money will go to keeping me floating while I do these projects; If more than this amount comes in, I will not consider this profit, but a mandate to keep going on projects further. My rough estimate is that $25k will keep me going for at least 3-4 months, and probably longer. That's full-time, constant work on saving computer history, speaking, and presenting. --from Jason Scott's Sabbatical page

One of these projects, of course, is his Get Lamp documentary on the history and culture of IF. The "speaking and presenting" parts are likely to including IF-related activity at PAX East, and I'm looking the heck forward to that.


JayIsGames has announced an IF competition for short room-escape games.

Secretly, in between all the real stuff I do in my life. I blow a lot of time playing little Flash web games. Flash room-escape games are my favorite sub-genre of these; they encompass the conventions of graphical adventures without costing twenty bucks or taking three years to construct.

The JayIsGames casual-game site has always tracked these little niblets of immersive fun. They've also occasionally stretched themselves to cover text IF. Looks like they've decided to bring the subjects together: they're sponsoring a design competition for one-room IF games, with the theme of "escape". Entries must be Z-code (for portability reasons -- it's a web-game audience), and the deadline is Jan 31.

JayIsGames is a popular site, and I expect this will bring a lot of energy to the IF world, both in game creation and attention. And yes, I might be entering...

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