Lifespan [1983]

There's a YouTube playlist I quite like called "Art Games Have Always Existed." I only have one problem with it: "Always" is a big word. It's the foundational premise of this blog that all games are art and it's high time we started treating them all like it, but the "art game" is something entirely … Continue reading Lifespan [1983]

Portopia Serial Murder Case [1983]

(Content warning: Police abuse, suicide. Spoilers for Portopia.) While both Colossal Cave Adventure [1975/77] and The Portopia Serial Murder Case [1983] are nostalgic reveries of a real location from the author's life crammed into the computer, Portopia must abridge its Kobe City. It's not as geographically exacting, instead compressing locations into composite sketches and eliding … Continue reading Portopia Serial Murder Case [1983]

Zork [1980]

As far as Popular Game History is concerned, Zork [1980] is the first and last text adventure game ("interactive fiction" sadly never fully filtering out to mass consciousness,) a cute stage-setting for the graphical adventure genre that completely superseded it on technical grounds. This is a perception deeply beholden to a progress narrative and commercial … Continue reading Zork [1980]

Lunar Lander [1979]

Lunar Lander [1979], at first blush, seems an incongruous fit for the arcade. It must be intentional as an attempted marketing strategy for floorspace in the ever-more competitive competitive arcade ecosystem. It's austere, maybe serious, adult, even intellectual. Slow, certainly. Methodical: Twitchy, nick-of-time reactions will get you nowhere here, you need to commit to medium-term … Continue reading Lunar Lander [1979]