Infocom co-founders to get AIAS Pioneer Award

Dave Legling and Marc Blank, co-founders of Playdom, best known for their work on the classic text-based adventure Zork and Enchanter series, will receive the Pioneer Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS)

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Dave Lebling and Marc Blank will receive the Pioneer Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS). Wait, who? The two are co-founders of Playdom, best known for their work on the classic text-based adventure Zork and Enchanter series.

"The Pioneer Award is reserved for individuals whose career-spanning work has helped shape and define the interactive entertainment industry with the creation of a technological approach or the birth of a new genre," the AIAS explains. Previous winners included Activision co-founder David Crane and Atari game designer Ed Logg.

Infocom was founded in 1979. Legling and Blank went on to co-author Zorks 1 through 3 and Enchanter. Lebling went on to write Spellbreaker, Starcross, Suspect, The Lurking Horror, and James Clavell's Shogun. Blank moved on to write interactive fiction games Border Zone and Journey.

"Great storytelling with a healthy dose of wit is the foundation of everything we create in the interactive entertainment industry," AIAS president Martin Rae said.

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  • reply
    December 19, 2012 4:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Infocom co-founders to get AIAS Pioneer Award.

    Dave Legling and Marc Blank, co-founders of Playdom, best known for their work on the classic text-based adventure Zork and Enchanter series, will receive the Pioneer Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS)

    • reply
      December 19, 2012 6:02 PM

      Brings back fond memories of Zork I on the Commodore 64, circa 1981. One thing, though: it's Dave Lebling, not Legling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Lebling

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        December 19, 2012 11:50 PM

        Oh yea, the c64 version of Zork, I remember being amazed by it.

        "It's dark in here. You are likely to be eaten by a Grue."

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      December 19, 2012 6:14 PM

      it's "lebling"

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        December 19, 2012 6:15 PM

        also that screen shot is from Beyond Zork, which i don't think they worked on. that was Brian Moriarty.

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          December 19, 2012 6:36 PM

          quality journalism is job #1.

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          December 20, 2012 7:10 AM

          Although "Professor" Moriarity did indeed work on Beyond Zork, it was still published by Infocom (at that time newly bought by Activision). Actually, it was the last real Infocom game (text-only, except for the on screen map).

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        December 19, 2012 10:32 PM

        Yes, he's French and it means "the money".

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        December 19, 2012 10:41 PM

        Also, they are co-founders of Infocom, not Playdom. Steve Meretzky, from Playdom, is getting the Pioneer Award. Here's a link to the un-murdered press release: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/prnewswire/press_releases/California/2012/12/19/DC32152

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      December 19, 2012 10:13 PM

      Loved all those Infocom games on my C64: Leather Goddess of Phobos, Planetfall, etc... Great memories on that brown keyboard around age 10.

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        December 20, 2012 7:03 AM

        Leather Goddesses of Phobos was hilarious. Those old text adventures were HARD though. If you didn't quite understand one puzzle or just missed something, you were screwed until you figured it out.

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          December 20, 2012 7:04 AM

          Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was another good one.

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      December 20, 2012 7:04 AM

      Where is my Z0RK HD remake on XBLA?

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        December 20, 2012 7:22 AM

        Yeah, we need 1080p text adventures! It would be AWESOME typing "go west" with an Xbox controller!

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          December 20, 2012 7:24 AM

          There could be Kinect support too!

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      December 20, 2012 7:41 AM

      Zork was a little behind my time, but I have fond memories playing Return to Zork on amazing-at-the-time CD-ROM technology.

      Want some rye? 'Course ya do!

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