As far as Popular Game History is concerned, Zork  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fully filtering out to mass consciousness,) a cute stage-setting for the graphical adventure genre that completely superseded it on technical grounds.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 
Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall Of The House Of Usher 's first paragraph, carried by dizzied, wavering prose that later on gives easily into poetry, foregrounds it as a work of architectural critique firstly — Gothic of course being the vital architectural term — but one that understands the unit of the building as something … Continue reading House Of Usher 
I have always considered the video game RPG in purely negative terms, and I don't simply mean that I don't like them. What I mean is that I have mostly perceived them as the phantom of tabletop RPGs, or more accurately, their exorcism. By taking the aspects of tabletop RPGs that computers can easily replicate, … Continue reading Rogue 
There is no other game of its era or the next one, all the way up to Super Mario Bros , that is anywhere near as celebrated and long-lived as Colossal Cave Adventure [1975/77]. In 1995, Graham Nelson, author of Curses  and of the Inform programming language in which he implemented the port I … Continue reading Colossal Cave Adventure 
(Content Warnings: Cannibalism, Genocide.) In these early days of gaming, it’s hard to walk in a straight line without tripping over “firsts.” Looking for the first this or the first that is a hook, it’s exciting to uncover, you feel like something recognizable of our present-day condition is emerging from the strange, foreign world of … Continue reading The Oregon Trail 
Spacewar is still the first video game. Not technically: the developers of Spacewar were already aware of a playable Tic Tac Toe implementation on the very computer they were working on, which by that point was already a more-than-decade-long tradition for computers, not to mention Tennis For Two . (For greater detail on this cascade … Continue reading Spacewar!