This week D.I.C.E. Summit organizer AIAS announced the recipients of their annual Pioneer Award as Dave Lebling and Marc Blank, co-founders of legendary adventure game maker Infocom. The pair met at MIT in the late 1970’s. For early gamers who hark back to text-based adventure classics such as Zork and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game, what followed is history.
In perhaps one of the most fitting tributes ever in game journalism, WIRED’s Chris Kohler decided to pay homage to D.I.C.E.’s recognition of Lebling and Blank s by turning his opportunity to interview them into a text-based adventure.
Given the time of year, Kohler’s Pioneers: An Interactive Fiction is essentially a gift to gamers all over the world, especially the ones old enough to remember playing these types of games. Regardless of whether someone's played a text adventure before, it has to be experienced to appreciate how WIRED turnd an interview, one they say was exclusive and therefore would have likely drawn plenty of attention from the game industry, into an excercise in pushing the creative boundaries of how online outlets can cover games.
Kohler created his interactive adventure with Playfic, an online platform backed by a supportive community that is helping keep the text-based adventure genre alive. It lets users play a variety of games from “indie” game makers - that could have meant have meant “independent” or “individual” back in the day. The more experienced or dedicated can use Playfic’s tools and tutorials to create their own adventure.
AIAS will present Lebling and Blank with the Pioneer Award at the 16th annual D.I.C.E. Awards on February 7 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Resort in Las Vegas. The awards ceremony is part of the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit.