A Digital Pirate Looks At 30

I love this game!If you came of age online before year 2000, you probably remember MUDs – those text-based multiplayer games that were the precursor to EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Even remembering those old games is enough to put a date stamp on you if you’re old enough to have played them during their heydey. Without any shame for our advancing age, this is a nostalgic look back at those traits possessed by gamers when the only images their digital worlds had were those conjured in the imaginations of the players.

Type Faster

You can spend all the time you want trying to learn how to type properly, but nothing will get you up to top speed the way player-vs-player combat can. When the life of your hapless avatar depends on the speed of your typing, the rush of adrenaline pushes you to tap keys faster and faster.

Communicate Better

Once upon a time people took their spelling and grammar seriously. At least, I like to imagine they did – maybe I was just too young to remember how poorly we all expressed ourselves online. Nonetheless, whenever I try to interact with people online today I am bombarded with slang, unfinished sentences, and incomprehensible dialogue from people who I can only assume are just below basic literacy levels. Is the access barrier so low that the ignorant masses have saturated the internet with idiocy, or are people just more stupid lately?

Accomplish More

In the “old days” we had to manually program our modem’s interupt strings in order to play games like Warcraft with our friends. Houses with networked computers were unheard of (we were one of the first households with 3 computers linked delicately together). Your web page would be unreasonably slow to download if it was 55Kb (the standard size used by JavaScript files on most sites today).

Getting online was a challenge, and even learning the commands to play those old games was an unforgiving experience. As a player, you simply had to persevere if you were to enjoy the experience to its full potential. We were all in it together; trailblazers in a digital world. Maybe that’s where the disconnect comes from — many of us learned how to program computers as a result of our experimentation, whereas the average gamer today has a hard time understanding basic programming concepts.

Shake My Fist

They say that the glory days of [insert your favourite memory here] were when you were a kid. I’m finding that to be more and more true as I get older. Time has a wonderful filtering affect that makes old memories fonder when you look at them through the lens of experience. All the same, I’ll always have a place in my heart for those old friendships and learning experiences I had during the early days of my online gaming life.

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Category: RPG


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