ZZT is a game-making system designed for the PC. It was created in 1991, by Tim Sweeney, of Epic Megagames1, with the intention of making a Game Creation System which wouldn't immediately baffle and put off potential programmers. Using a simple object-oriented-programming language, the programmer tells individual robots to react to different stimuli, such as making contact with the player, etc. While it is graphically and technically unimpressive, clever manipulation of the programme has allowed games of surprising complexity.
Eight years on from its original creation, ZZT still has a cult-like following and still pumps out many quality games2from fantasy and science fiction to interactive magazines. Budding programmers simply have to put together a game and upload it and anything and everything is accepted.
Despite all of the fans, however, nobody has figured out exactly why it has such a bizarre name. Some say it's an abbreviation of 'Zoo of Zero Tolerance', some say that it's an obscure reference to bearded band ZZ Top. Most likely, however, is that Sweeney simply picked three rhyming letters (if you live in America) and made do with them.