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8:14am on Tuesday, 3rd August, 2010:

Treasure Trove


QBlog doesn't normally act as a pointer to other sites, as I regard it as a source of new content rather than as a mere content recycler. However, today I'm going to make an exception: anyone out there with an interest in virtual world history should take a look at these scans on Bob Alberti's site, which document some of the early history of Sceptre of Goth (a contemporary of MUD). Slide 1 is for another game, but the rest are all to do with Sceptre of Goth. Particular highlights for me are: the picture of the comms board using a slide rule to show its scale; the transcript of a short play session (undated); the references to an endgame; the "ladies" character class.

I keep telling people that we were always going to have virtual worlds, and the idea has been invented independently at least seven times (MUD, Sceptre of Goth, Avatar, Aradath, Island of Kesmai, Habitat, Monster); although being chronologically first helped, the main reasons that almost all today's virtual worlds are directly descended from MUD is because we kept MUD free to play and actively encouraged people to write their own free-to-play worlds, too. This meant there were more MUD-descended games written than other-descended games, so when the idea finally took off commercially there were hundreds of people with MUD-tradition skills for every individual with other-traditions skills.

Had things worked out differently, though, we could well be calling MMORPGs SoGs...

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).