I’m looking for a current book that presents gaming theory at a level appropriate for a 200-level undergraduate course. I have only scanned through the section of Tanja Sihvonen’s work, Players Unleashed! Modding <i>The Sims</i> and the Culture of Gaming (PDF), that deals with Colossal Cave Adventure. I’m not too happy with what I found there, since it seems I disagree with a Wikipedia article. (See footnote 251.)
Yes, it is true that several of my sources claim a 1975-76 date, but the phrasing suggests that some of my sources might agree with the 1972 date. In fact, except for people who were simply repeating what they had read about the creation of Colossal Cave Adventure, not a single one of the sources I interviewed specified a date before 1975, and the earliest digital evidence is dated 1977. To put it another way, every single one of the sources who played Crowther’s original game specified a date of 1975 or later.
Those “written sources, including the Wikipedia entry” that mention the 1972 date are wrong, as I explain in the article Sihvonen cites. (Why do I suddenly feel empathy for every B-movie mad scientist who shouts “Fools! I shall crush them all!”?)
I can, and do, regularly edit the Wikipedia entry to remove the factual errors, but what can I do to combat the errors that made it into print before I published what I found out about the timeline?
Of course, Sihvonen is right — it is a fact that many sources have printed the 1972 date. I listed several of these sources in the section of my article where I thoroughly debunk them. And who am I to argue with ink on paper? All I have on my side is thoroughly cross-checked oral testimony and e-mail messages from people who have first-hand knowledge of the events in question. How can that stand up against “many written sources”? What was I thinking!
One day, perhaps I can spend months and years gathering primary information,
carefully assemble it all in a coherent, insanely detailed package,
get it peer reviewed by scholars who know what they are talking about,
and then somehow, if fortune blesses my efforts, find a magic way that the full text of my findings could be
available, for free, somewhere in an online digital network, so that I could direct interested readers to paragraphs 79-83 of a document located at http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html.