Addicting Games Led Me to Discover Zork
By Ryan Kalmoe
I distinctly remember being the first to play Minesweeper on the family's new home computer once it arrived. The following day, my family went shopping at Best Buy and, suddenly, the computer game section had relevance. My older sister and I were each allowed to select one game each. Diligently, my sister read the back of the boxes and ultimately selected Myst for its puzzle-solving appeal. While my method of selection remains foggy, the selection itself is clear in my memory. I had chosen Return to Zork by Infocom. It took a day or two before my father got around to installing our games, but I quickly learned how to start the game up myself. Before long, I was adventuring the graphical universe of Return to Zork.
My mother has a keen knack of picking up on the name of my hobbies and games, finding really old copies of everything related to the hobby at garage sales, and then purchasing them for my amusement. While I never played the second edition of Dungeons & Dragons, my collection of nearly fifty D&D books stand as a tribute to my mother's uncanny ability. In the summer of 1994, my mother stumbled upon a copy of Zork III: The Dungeon Master for ten cents at a garage sale. I had to dust off the old Apple IIe sitting in the corner of the office, but I was almost instantly hooked on the green-text adventure.
Pretty soon, my older sister became jealous. How on earth could I possibly be having so much fun on the really old computer while she was on the fancy new computer? Little did I know, she set out to one-up me, and she would succeed on an epic level. I don't know how, but she managed to find an interactive game on AOL that was very much like my Zork III, but could be played with other people. When I noticed she was playing what looked like Zork III on the new computer, I asked her what it was. At that precise moment in time, I was introduced to multi-user dungeons, or MUDs. Given how quickly I took to Zork III, I quickly became flat out addicted to MUDs.
I played these text-based adventure games religiously upon discovery. After school I would log on for my 30 minute fix. Once we had unlimited dial-up, I would play for hours on end. The interactive, fictional environment satisfied my thirst for action and adventure. My mathematical abilities were tested by various systems, my vocabulary grew, and I could type faster than my typing instructors at school. I continued to play throughout high school and even through college. After I joined the Navy, my play time became rather limited as I was working most of the time. However, being stationed in Japan meant I was far from my fiancee, now wife. It was her idea to look into playing Achaea, now my favorite text game, and once she moved to Japan we began playing together.
However, being stationed in Japan meant I was far from my fiancee (now wife), and we found ourselves on a continual search for activities to share over the long distance. We had discovered Achaea prior to my leaving for Japan, and while my wife does not have the background experience with MUDs that I have, she suggested we look into it. Once she joined me in Japan, we began playing together. We continue to play together, though we've chosen to keep our characters merely friends as to not force any constraints on our role play. Achaea provides us countless hours of inexpensive entertainment each month, and even more hours of conversation outside of the game.
If you were a fan of the Zork series, I encourage you to try these old-school massive multi-player online role playing games. There are numerous articles written by my fellow players on the advantages of text-based adventures, and you don't need to have played them for over a decade to get into them now. Many games are very newbie-friendly, whether to their specific game or to MUDs in general. I encourage you to try one out, and to not get too discouraged or overwhelmed if you do.
If old school is your style, check out these online text games today.
Ryan Kalmoe is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from http://www.IronRealms.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ryan_Kalmoe