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Default RPG News - History of CRPGs Part 1 @ Armchair Arcade

December 26th, 2006, 15:34
A site called Armchair Arcade has posted Part 1 of The History of Computer Roleplaying Games, with this entry covering 1980 - 1983. Here's an excerpt from the editorial intro:
Although most people would probably think it's a trivial matter to trace the CRPG back to its tabletop, paper-and-pencil based "equivalent," doing so probably obscures more than it reveals about the two genres. As anyone who has actually played D&D is acutely aware, the two games are as different as playing intramural basketball and College Hoops 2K7. Indeed, the typical "CRPG" is not a "role-playing game" at all, or, if it is, that's generally the least distinctive thing about it. After all, you "play a role" when you play PAC-MAN or SPACE INVADERS,and even in games like Tetris you're playing a role—the unseen force that causes those falling blocks to shift and rotate. It's probably more accurate to describe first-person "interactive fiction" games like Zork or Myst as a "role-playing games," since in those games the player literally assumes an important fictional role within the game. Likewise, a first-person shooter like Half-Life seems to come much closer to the ideal of "playing a role" than a game like Icewind Dale, in which you only indirectly control a whole group of characters.
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December 26th, 2006, 15:34
Good catch, Dhruin! This was a very interesting read and a nice trip down memory lane. Apshai was my first foray into crpgs, though I got to sample dnd and rogue a little on the school's mainframe. I had started D&D in 1979 and couldn't believe you could actually play something like it on a computer
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December 26th, 2006, 18:15
Interesting article. Incidentally, I've never played any of those very old games.
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December 27th, 2006, 02:07
Good writeup, can't wait until they reach the Revival of the late 90's. My favourite period, despite the many classics of the earlier age.

Akalabeth is always interesting. Whenever someone goes "isometric is just old-fashioned, why won't you accept the innovation of fps in cRPGs?" I just point at Akalabeth.
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December 27th, 2006, 07:14
Whew, sure glad those days are behind us
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December 28th, 2006, 21:56
It was nice to see mention of "Moria". My memories of all-night marathons on a friend's Apple IIe are fragmented at best, but that game (and another called "Broadsides") still brings the warm fuzzy when I think of it.

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