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Am I The Only One?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Plough, Plover, and XYZZY

Very few of you will know what these words mean. For the those that do, you might be ready for a blast from the past.

You see, way back in the bad old days, there were no computer games. Then one day, a bored software guy realized that you could program a computer to present you with not just a game, but a whole adventure! Thus, the computer "quest" gaming genre were born with Adventure, sometimes called Colossal Caves.

I first played this game as a small child at my dad's lab. They would get me set up with a teletype terminal -- a keyboard attached to a mainframe computer, but instead of a glass screen it typed everything out on a scroll of paper -- and I'd be off adventuring the seemingly endless caverns and pathways.

(No, this wasn't in the 70's. I may be one step past 'young', but I'm not a dinosaur. This was in the 80's, and the equipment was outdated even then.)

My, how times have changed. The other day I thought, "I bet there is a java version of that old game out there somewhere." It took me all of 10 seconds (no kidding) on Google to find it.

If you want a glimpse at the earliest computer games, give it a go. As for XYZZY? Yes, the game has secrets.

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