Infocom Mural Page


The Infocom mural was something I created a several years ago, when I was a freshman. It was a tribute to a bunch of hackers who made the best damn computer games ever. It consisted of a about 6ft x 4ft rectangle, painted black with white letters reading:


(just like the logo, about 1 ft high)
Under which, in a 1.5 inch high, elegant font, (Dragonwick) it had the passage from Zork contained in the black book on the altar:
Commandment 12592
Oh ye who go about saying unto each other: "Hello sailor":
Dost thou know the magnitude of thy sin before the gods?
Yea, verily, thou shalt be ground between two stones.
Shall the angry gods cast thy body into the whirlpool?
Surely, thy eye shall be put out with a sharp stick!
Even unto the ends of the earth shalt thou wander and
Unto the land of the dead shalt thou be sent at last.
Surely thou shalt repent of thy cunning.


The mural was created by printing the text on a Macintosh and cutting the letters out using an Exacto knife, carefully leaving a mask which served as a stencil. The paint was then sprayed through the mask from a regular spray can. Since some diffuse spray leaked behind the mask, the letters aquired a fuzzy, ghostly appearance- which was neat but unintentional.


It was originally painted in what was once known to some as the Infocom Shrine, really the bottom of a stairwell in the sub-basement of bldg 66. Here someone unknown to me had painted in weeping red spray paint :
INFOCOM R.I.P. 1974-1987
(I think these were the dates they gave, but my memory fades swiftly.)

And under the stairs in a hard-to-see place, in blue, was a large "FROBOZZ". Admittedly, these were not tastefully done, but they had a certian poignancy. The mask for the mural I made took ~50-100 hours to create, and the resuting mural was moderately impressive. Actual painting time took less than 3 hours to paint the black background, let it dry sufficiently, and apply the lettering.


At some point during my sophmore year, the institute painted over the older graffiti, as well as my mural. At some later time, I decided to repaint the mural in the sub-basement of bldg 9, where all the cool murals are. This area is also on the somewhat illicit "orange tours" which more than a third of the freshmen take each year.

This too, has since been painted over. Unfortunately, the detail of the mask also causes it to be very fragile, after two years of storage, I found that the mask had deteriorated beyond reusability. The infocom mural is no more, unless I recreate it from scratch. I am considering doing so this summer, possibly on a more durable media than bond paper.


To the best of my knowledge:

Infocom florished in the grand days of the Great Underground Empire, but as civilization decayed, it became the subject of countless trivial law suits, such as the infamous suit from the New York Times for copyright infrigement by the Infocom newsletter, the New Zork Times. This troubling era left it on unstable ground, and eventually the company was bought out by Activision. Shortly thereafter the original hackers who founded the company left to do some insanely lucrative Artificial Intelligence work for the US Department of Defense. Their current whereabouts are unknown.


Johnny Wilson tells a slightly different, and more thorough, story.