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Reader Comments (6)

Posted: Jan 17th 2012 9:17PM Borick said

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Quarter-century. Not quarter-decade. :)

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 6:07AM dc3 said

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I thought those graphics looked all 2009, Unreal Engine 3 no doubt ... i had never heard of it, although playing via dial-up in Australia via mid eighties telecom monopoly overseas phone charges would have been so expensive, hundreds of dollars per hour.

A good read and interesting to see that many of the player responses to in-game freedoms are what makes some of these games.

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 7:57AM Graill440 said

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"turning them loose without strict regulation might seem like a recipe for an instant sewage pit of a game today"

The game mentioned in the quote above is called EVE online. Ya, i went there.

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 11:44AM Space Cobra said

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"Getting hit was harder than you'd think, as players not interesting in participating in combat could either go to ghost (observer) form or by simply running around. That's right: You couldn't be hit if you were moving."

Actually, that sounds even more realistic than it is today, or I should say, more "player-skill-based" than "game-stat" based or "more arcade-like". I played similar "simple" games in the past, the simplicity ain't so bad, but then you have differences involving "who has the higher baud rate" or "better connection" and "reflexes" as opposed to Avatar-stats that could be improved.

"A kinder, gentler form of combat was a dueling system right out of Harry Potter (you heard it here: J.K. Rowling ripped off Habitat for Harry!). Players equipped with wands could go to a judge for a duel and then try to hit each other three times to win."

You know, on AOL there was a chat-room game called "Duel of Swords" that involved a bit of /tells-IMing to a third, neutral party of moves that were a bit rock-paper-scissors like. Later on, they introduced "Duel of Wands" that was more similar to the above. I often wondered where that RPG-like chat room game came about and this may (or may not) have given me a clue as to a possible origin.

Also, many of the things you mentioned are..."charmingly naive" when I look at it. Everything is new and that linked video of "the typical Habitat player" probably wasn't too far off from the truth (although I ran into lots of College and High Schoolers in similar, later-made games). Everyone tended to be civil, even the "griefers", because the community was smaller and people knew people. Sure, one could grief and solely grief and not socialize, but they'd get known and even the GMs may've stopped them (or limit them). So, while the things you brought up did cause some pain, as you explained, such things were easily solved later on.

I think, that is one reason I like smaller communities and not ones that can get too big. Again, as you state, the only way to stay-in-touch was to log into the game (this was true of MUDs, MUSHes, etc.) for the most part. There is a nice "Cheers" atmosphere of people knowing your name. Even when certain games got big, you still had a ready-made community of older, established types to turn to when increasing and welcoming newer players, but nowadays, since we are talking very large numbers, that kind of thing is hard to do.

That's one reason I look enviously to "Tale of the Desert" and probably should be playing it. It looks like it has about the same vibe going on in that game that games like "Habitat" had "way back then".

Posted: Jan 18th 2012 9:38PM (Unverified) said

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This is the most interesting game archaeologist subject yet. I thought i have heard of everything untill habitat came up on massively. Love it.

Posted: Jan 26th 2012 12:07PM SpeedLazer said

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Invader Zim quote FTW

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