It was a merry day
in 1950 when Dave Lebling said his first hello to the world
in Washington, D.C. After his family moved he grew up in suburban
Maryland and then attended the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.
Being at the Buckingham
Palace of computing he still might have taken a different
path, hadn't one of his college advisors there, right in his
freshman year, asked him how he felt about taking a programming
course. Dave said yes due to a hole in his schedule, but found
he actually enjoyed it.
As a matter of
fact he apparently enjoyed it tremendously and it didn't take
long until he wrote his own version of "Spacewar,"
the probably very first space-action game. Some time later
he became a member of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science
(LCS), by then having a degree in political science already
in his pocket.
A lot of other
programs, not only games, followed. His "Maze" (later
succeeded by many derivates called "MazeWars"),
written in collaboration with Greg Thompson, perhaps even
made him one of the fathers of 3D multiplayer first person
As Dave was in
of writing his own computerized "Dungeon Master"
assistant for "Dungeons
& Dragons," an earthquake hit him and all computer
geeks on campus. And that earthquake had a name: "Adventure"
(or "Colossal Cave").
At first, he and
his friends at LCS were practically stunned by Adventure,
something like that had never been seen before, but after
a time they found flaws in it and wanted to do something like
it better - just for fun.
fun" became "Zork" and Zork eventually became
"Infocom" (see History).
In the beginning
Dave didn't commit himself fully to the "project"
Infocom, he kept close ties to MIT and later actually paid
hommage to the university in "Lurking Horror" -
"GUE Tech's" campus, the "infinite corridor"
and many more places in the game are modeled after actual
sites at the school.
It was only later
that he fully engaged himself at Infocom and in the end, literally,
it was him who wrote the last game ever produced at the company's
original place in Cambridge, Massachusetts - "Shogun."
end Dave took on the more serious site of programming and
worked on a GUI spreadsheet program and later joined Avid,
a company working on special effects for movies and TV shows.
From there he went to employment as a systems engineer at Ucentric and since 2009 works for British defense contractor BAE Systems.