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2:14pm on Sunday, 24th June, 2007:

Veiled Power


After the Ludium finished yesterday, I went into downtown Bloomington and, naturally, sought out the games show. Inside, I found Randy Farmer, who had done the same thing. I bought a game he recommended, Trains Europe, and while I was paying for it Randy picked up a box a World of Warcraft cards next to the checkout desk. "Molten Core Expansion Set", he read, then added, "I've never been to Molten Core". The lad on the till was pleased to find that these grey-haired guys played WoW.

Here's roughly how the conversation went:

Lad: You play World of Warcraft?
Randy: Well, I have a level 65, but I've never been to MC as I'm not in a raid guild.
Me: I've pugged it a few times. I have three 70s, a 60 and a 20-something.
Lad: I have two 70s. Hey, I think it's really great that people of all ages play WoW.
Me: Well, we have been playing this kind of game for a while...
(Randy glances at me with an "are you going to do it?" look).
Me: What was World of Warcraft based on? What game did the developers look at and think, "we can do that, only better"?
Lad: Er, was it called EverQuest?
Me: That's right. Do you know what EverQuest was based on?
Lad: No, but I think there was some guy at IU who gave a talk...
Me: EverQuest was based on DikuMUD, which was a textual world developed at the Datalogisk Institut Kobenhavns Universitet in Denmark. DikuMUD was based on AberMUD, written at the University of Wales at Aberystwyth. AberMUD was based on MUD, written at the University of Essex in England. MUD wasn't based on anything. I co-wrote it.
Lad: You wrote it?
Me: The first graphical virtual world was Habitat, written in 1985 by — who wrote Habitat, Randy?
Randy: Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar.
Me: We've been writing and playing these games since before you were born.

I wouldn't normally do that kind of thing as it's kinda boastful, but with Randy and me both there together it was just too sweet to pass up...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).