Items tagged history

50 Years of Text Games - 1987: Plundered Hearts

(The sheer insecurity of male gamers in the 1980s. Afraid to play a female protagonist. Afraid to play an easy game. Of games marketed to a broader audience.)

Tags: interactive fiction, history

The Ratings Game, Part 1: A Likely and an Unlikely Suspect

You know what's scary? It's been almost three decades since videogames first got an audience rating system, and countless scientific studies later we still have to spend too much time defending the reality that videogames don't cause violence. Makes me wonder if this idea will ever die.

Tags: business, history, critique

Gabriel Knight Creator Jane Jensen's Successful Second Act: Erotic Novelist

Ever wanted to know what Jane Jensen was up to after Gabriel Knight and Sierra stopped being a thing? I hadn't thought of that, but Vice Magazine has us covered. It's a fascinating story, too, and it made me realize something. Just like real-time strategies didn't go anywhere but simply evolved into more focused genres like tower defense and MOBA, adventures became many little things, like room escape games, hidden object games and walking simulators. And there's nothing wrong with that, though it does betray an environment where few games can be large and ambitious anymore. But the wheel still turns.

Tags: adventure, business, history

50 Years of Text Games - 1980: MUD

We were all distracted last year, so we kinda forgot to celebrate 40 years since the world's first MMORPG, known as MUD. The concept has long since developed from essentially a multiplayer text adventure, through EverQuest and World of Warcraft, to whatever the cool kids are playing today. Yet MUDs still endure in their original form as well. I discovered the scene in 2009-2010 (and wrote about it), and I'm still active, at least in a subculture thereof. So this look back means a lot to me.

Tags: classic, mmo, rpg, history

50 Years of Text Games - 1979: The Cave of Time

Aaron A. Reed's series just reached 1979, and with it the first modern gamebook, that started the Choose Your Own Adventure series and with it a hugely popular genre that was unsurpassed for the next fifteen years. How well I remember sitting on a train with a passage diagram like that, trying to make my own, because it was something I could imagine myself creating, long before I could code worth a damn, or at all. Likely before I could hope to own a computer. And that's just one of the things that make the medium so profoundly important.

Tags: gamebooks, history

Before Fortnite, There Was ZZT: Meet Epic’s First Game

As a child, being able to tell your friends ‘I make video games’ is incredibly powerful.

Tags: classic, history

Virtual Boy Architecture: A Practical Analysis

Tags: hardware, history

50 Years of Text Games - 1976: Adventure

Tags: interactive fiction, history

50 Years of Text Games - 1975: dnd

Tags: mmo, rpg, history

The Top 10 Infamous (Tabletop) RPGs

Some lessons to learn there.

Tags: tabletop, rpg, history

A brief history of cyberpunk games

Tags: history, overview

What “Roguelike” Meant

Unusual history of the genre, starting around the time it began to be recognized as such and given a name. Lots of cane-waving and cries of "get off my lawn!" Worth a read anyway for the different perspective.

Tags: roguelike, history

The Problems with PLATO

Why digital archaeology is hard.

Tags: history, preservation

A New Way To Think About Your Favorite Game’s Code

Frank Cifaldi and Kelsey Lewin, co-directors of the Video Game History Foundation, explain their new project

Tags: history, preservation, interview

Introducing The Video Game Source Project

Tags: history, preservation

The quietly groundbreaking videogame of RoboCop 3

RoboCop 3 may have been a muddled disappointment of a film, but the videogames – that came out first – were a bit more interesting.

Tags: obscure, history

The Nintendo Famicom Clone Craze

How “famiclones” spread all over the world

Tags: obscure, hardware, history

ImMortal Mystique: Mortal Kombat's John Tobias on the Creation and Evolution of a Franchise

Tags: long, classic, history, interview

Flash Games Are Leaving Soon, but Their Memory Will Never Fade

Tags: history, preservation

Socialism’s DIY Computer

The Galaksija computer was a craze in 1980s Yugoslavia, inspiring thousands of people to build versions in their own homes. The idea behind them was simple – to make technology available to everyone.

Tags: cool, obscure, hardware, history

Gunpei Yokoi – Inventing the Game and Watch

Tags: cool, retrogaming, hardware, history

The rise and fall of Adobe Flash

Right on my birthday, Ars Technica posts a long, detailed history of Flash from its humble beginnings to its relatively recent demise, complete with testimonies from key people. And you know... Steve Jobs may have been a jerk and the bane of good engineering, but in that infamous essay he only echoed the concerns of industry at large. Flash wasn't just proprietary, insecure and a resource hog. It was such a mess that even after key components were open-sourced, and the rest extensively documented, 3rd-party clones just couldn't come close to playing anything but the simplest animations properly. Successful preservation efforts leverage the official player, not open source implementations. No, Flash was terrible engineering even by IT's abysmal standards. And frankly? Its much vaunted ease of use was never apparent to me. Even as an authoring tool, Flash sucked. There, I said it.

Tags: long, technology, history, interview

The Mysterious Origins of Mastermind, the Codebreaking Board Game

It was an international sensation. It made an appearance in Fallout. It helped create the field of cybersecurity. But where did it come from?

Tags: classic, history, tabletop

The polygons of Doom: PSX

Tags: classic, cool, hardware, history, shooter

The story of the Atari Jaguar saviour that never came out

"But between 1993 and 1996, there were more failed major console releases than there were consoles released in the last decade."

Tags: hardware, history, obscure

The man who made Wolfenstein

The late Silas Warner is barely remembered in gaming, but he did something extraordinary

Tags: classic, history

The Lie That Helped Build Nintendo

The story of a man, a lie, a video game handheld, and a business empire.

Tags: business, cool, history

BBSes: Partying Online Like It’s 1989

While the Internet would eventually bring computer-based telecommunications to the masses, by the late 1980s more tech-savvy individuals were already meeting new people and having all sorts of discussions ‘on-line’ – and in some cases had been for almost a decade. While most of them were adults, plenty of them were children, and some of those would become life-long friends.While the Internet would eventually bring computer-based telecommunications to the masses, by the late 1980s more tech-savvy individuals were already meeting new people and having all sorts of discussions ‘on-line’ – and in some cases had been for almost a decade. While most of them were adults, plenty of them were children, and some of those would become life-long friends.

Tags: cool, history, retrospective

An Oral History of 'Snake' on Nokia

Taneli Armanto is an unsung hero of mobile gaming. Meet the Finnish software engineer who developed ‘Snake’ for the late-’90s Nokia 6110 — launching a 00 billion industry

Tags: classic, history, mobile, retrogaming

From a small Acorn to 37 billion chips: ARM's ascent to tech superpower

An interview with Sophie Wilson, who invented the ARM instruction set.

Tags: hardware, history, interview, long

Inside the work to get Doom on the Super Nintendo

Tags: graphics, hardware, history

A Very Brief History of Gamebooks (up to 1979)

Tags: gamebooks, history

How YouTube let's plays are preserving video game history

Tags: history, preservation

How games whitewash Nazism, and the responsibility developers have to history

Through the Darkest of Times devs explore the industry's dangerous failure when it comes to depicting fascism

Tags: history, philosophy, shooter

Machinima is a good reminder of just how disposable the internet is

"None of our digital goods or digital communities will last forever."

Tags: history, preservation

Rockstar's history of America

What do Rockstar games tell us about American history?

Tags: critique, history

Designing 2D graphics in the Japanese industry

Tags: cool, graphics, hardware, history, long