Sceptre of Goth and MMO History

Richard Bartle had a recent post about the pre-history of MMOs.

I’ve read so many histories of MMOs that are just plain wrong, that I myself always try to get it right to the best of my knowledge and understanding. This is why when people introduce me as “the man who invented online games” or whatever, I always mention that I co-invented them with Roy Trubshaw. If I’m able (which isn’t always possible in live interviews), I’ll also correct the focus (it’s just virtual worlds) and point out that plenty of other people independently invented them too: Roy and I did MUD; Kelton Flinn and John Taylor did Island of Kesmai; Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar did Habitat; Bruce Maggs, Andrew Shapira and David Sides did Avatar; Rich Skrenta did Monster; Alan Kleitz and Bob Alberti did Sceptre of Goth.

He goes on to talk about the genealogy of games and the allocation of credit.

Worthy reading for folks who care about the world before the World of Wacraft.

: Zubon

Gen Con Planning

I will be attending Gen Con again this year. Last year, a few of us said we were going, but that never coalesced into a meetup or event. Would we like to do something like that? If there is enough interest or if we have several bloggers going from our corner of the blogosphere, we could even register an event, although it looks like there are costs involved in that.

Designate a time/place to meet up for conversation and open gaming? Pick a restaurant and have a Ratslayers Tavern some evening?

I am opening the floor to discussion for attendees so that we plan and do something. It is a big event (56,614 attendees, more expected this year) and it is hard to stumble over each other in that kind of crowd.

: Zubon

#justnerdthings

I was awoken by a nightmare in which I was playing a multi-player strategy game and was so focused on mopping up an opponent who we hit with an early rush that I forgot to develop my economy and so was useless to the team in the late game. It was like the gamer version of the nightmare of going to school naked.

: Zubon

“Aren’t you forgetting something?”

Fandom Fandom

I had somewhat less than Wilhelm-level hardware problems and was mostly offline for a couple of weeks. Or at least away from a PC worth using for gaming. I felt surprisingly good about this. It forced me to keep to that intentional gaming plan I was having trouble with. And what did I miss? Almost nothing. I haven’t had the urge to re-install much.

I did browse around other parts of the internet. I found that I really enjoyed seeing people really enjoy themselves. Like how I was enjoying the cosplay at the summer gaming cons, it has been nice to see people simply enjoying their hobbies. You know, playing without thinking about game balance or playing a walking spreadsheet.

So that’s been cheering and enjoyable, but it has not given me much to say in an online gaming blog. I’ll check in sometime.

: Zubon

Blogroll of the Fallen

I haven’t inventoried the KTR blogroll in a while to check for defunct/moved blogs. I know many are in a tentative, “I don’t really have much to talk about” state, but many of us have been hovering in that state in a weak year for MMOs (advantage: group blog). If you know any to be dead/moved, please mention in the comments.

My personal RSS is a mix of highly active and completely dead blogs. There are a couple of literal deaths on that list, but I have not had the heart to remove them while the blogs are still online.

Jeff Freeman’s old blog is still available via the Internet Archive.

: Zubon

Customer Service

When you support an online application, you are supporting the entire computer. This past week, I have troubleshot network connections through VPNs, pop-up blockers in Internet Explorer, and file problems caused by the latest update for MS Office for Macs. Anything that keeps the user from using your system is a problem for you to solve.

: Zubon

I still don’t have a solution on that last one, but I have a workaround.