Utopia [1981]

Utopia [1981] often gets cited as the first RTS, or as the first God Game. The Wargaming Scribe has completely and comprehensively dismantled the case for it as the first RTS in just the past few weeks, so I'll take it on it as the first God Game. In short... The Sumerian Game [1964-1967] and … Continue reading Utopia [1981]

The Twilight Zone’s Opening Volley (Patreon Bonus)

I just watched the first 8 episodes of The Twilight Zone and I got inspired by them, so I thought I'd write about them to get them out of my system to see if reading my thoughts on them and potentially thoughts about the other random media works I happen to experience in the future … Continue reading The Twilight Zone’s Opening Volley (Patreon Bonus)

Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device [1947]

Apologies for the shuffled chronology here, but it is a war game and I was inspired. When Philo T. Farnsworth first demonstrated his all-electronic CRT television to anyone outside of the laboratory where it was invented, he said "here's something the bankers can understand" and turned it on to produce an image of a dollar … Continue reading Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device [1947]

Hamurabi [1968/1973]

(Content warning: Plague.) The Sumerian Game [1964-1967]/Hamurabi [1968/1973] [sic], as that dating indicates, has a particularly convoluted and amorphous release history that I'm going to have to spend the first few paragraphs here just walking through. There were more or less three variations by different authors, although I could expand that all the way into … Continue reading Hamurabi [1968/1973]

Castlevania [1986] + Dark Castle [1986]

Just from reputation, I expected to have to turn around and eat my words from the Super Mario Bros [1985] post, the ones about how it inaugurated a new kind of thoroughgoing consideration towards player onboarding which quickly became gold standard. But instead, I saw it more or less confirmed. The gameplay begins with a … Continue reading Castlevania [1986] + Dark Castle [1986]

A Mind Forever Voyaging [1985]

(Content warnings: My suicide attempts. Racism against black and Asian people. Animal cruelty. Police brutality. Fascism.) Continued. Around these parts it feels like the world never even started. That's by design. Trust me, I've helped build these rows of tract housing at a remove from the cities. Not even suburbia, which is immediately adjoining a … Continue reading A Mind Forever Voyaging [1985]

Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? [1985]

The genre of the "detective game" predates the video game, but it suits the medium like two gears meshing. The narrative impetus to piece together discrete units of information in some systematized way or another suits the computer. Though the genre likely peaks here in the 1980s, it's a perennial genre that never really goes … Continue reading Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? [1985]