1993: Curses (Aaron A. Reed’s “50 Years of Text Games”)

The latest in Aaron A. Reed’s monumental project” 50 Years of Text Games” focuses on Graham Nelson’s programming language Inform, and in particular his game “Curses.” “You have to get a coin from the temple of zeus to buy the ekmek,” explained one responder. “To do that you need to use the rod of luck. To use the rod of luck you have to change the nature of the universe.”…

Economics in Early Computer Games

(First published 27 May 2020, when I found it in my “drafts” folder.) In an article on consumerism in role-playing computer games, Garrelts explores a history that leads back to Adventure and Zork: “At this stage, while there were objects that could be manipulated that had use-value, there were no developed economies; in fact, there was no money to be exchanged.” It may be worth noting, however, that Crowther’s original…