Sometimes called the Fathers of Computer Gaming, Will Crowther and Don Woods created the first 'text adventure' for the computer - Colossal Cave Adventure.
From A History of 'Adventure' - Here's where it all began...:
In 1976, Don Woods was working at Stanford University's Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, otherwise known by the acronym SAIL. Woods found a copy of Crowther's rudimentary program left on one of the SAIL computers by some unknown Johnny Appleseed, so to speak.
He contacted Crowther by the simple expedient of sending email to "crowther@sitename," where sitename was every computer then on the Internet, only a mere handful of sites at the time. After corresponding with Crowther and getting his blessings, Woods greatly expanded the program.
At the time, the fantasy writings of J.R.R. Tolkien such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were very popular, and many of the rooms in the lab were given whimsical names that fit into a Lord of the Rings theme. Printers at the lab were even programmed with an optional "Elvish" font derived from the writing system listed by Tolkien in the appendices to the fantasy series.
Influenced by Tolkien's writing, Woods added touches such as a troll, elves, and a volcano inspired by Tolkien's description of Mount Doom, where Sauron forged the One Ring of Power in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Last updated: Jun 20, 2004