All MMORPGs are just 1's and 0's

Bjarne Stroustrup

The name Bjarne Stroustrup is to computer programming languages what Steve Jobs was to Apple. Stroustrup not only authored the first official C++ reference guide, but he is also the language’s creator. For anyone missing the significance, C and C++ essentially powers the Rapture engine  -- you know...that thing that lets you play your favorite MMORPG from Iron Realms. In a 2010 e-mail interview with Wired magazine, Stroustrup not only tells the history behind the language but also reveals details about his personal life. Reading those details made me realize -- he’s really not that different from the average gamer!


Regardless of Client, It’s Still a Character in an MMORPG

In the interview with Wired, Stroustrup makes the point that, “ is invisible. There are several processors in my little camera, but I don’t think of my camera as a computer. There are dozens of computers in a modern car, but we still think of it as a car.

Whether you use Nexus, Flash, zMud, Mudlet or something else entirely, you’re still playing an MMORPG from Iron Realms. Regardless if you use Vadi or your own custom-built system, your character is still performing the same tasks it would do if you typed in every command manually.


Life Without Software

The C++ creator goes on to explain, “In general, I don’t think people appreciate how much we depend on software. Given the complexity of modern society and modern transportation systems, it is fair to say that most people would starve without software.” He’s not kidding, and no doubt speaks from experience. Stroustrup uses a small laptop “with a bunch of C++ compilers” and his “desktop is Linux with more compilers and tools for software development.” I like to think I could at least survive a weekend without technology, but others freely admit being lost without their favorite technological devices. When fellow author Penelope Swain’s computer died, she barely lasted forty-eight hours on her smart phone before purchasing a netbook to tied her over until repairs were complete.


Background Music for Programming

The Wired article was in no way limited to the technical aspects of Stroustrup’s life. When asked what music he prefers to listen to while programming, his tastes were really diverse, if not a little surprising. His list included, but was in no way limited to, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Grieg, Sibelius, Mozart, the Beatles, the Dixie Chicks, Handel, Clapton, and Beethoven. Wow. If you take out the Dixie Chicks, Sibelius, and Wagner, but add in Pink Floyd, Christina Perri, and Maroon 5 it’s not really that much different from my Pandora playlist. Background music is essential to some MMORPG players. Fellow author Tony Celentano can’t bash without heavy metal streaming through his headphones. Music isn’t for everyone, though. Nicholas, a long time player of Iron Realms games, prefers the television playing for background noise while a different player values a silent background -- just the sound of fingers clacking away at the keyboard.


Most of us will never come close to the contributions of Bjarne Stroustrup in the area of computer science. Without C++ we would know a very different Iron Realms, and the Rapture engine that powers our favorite MMORPGs definitely wouldn’t be the same! What people do you credit for the success of your favorite games? What’s your favorite background music or sound? Comments about this article are welcome in the spaces below.


Author: Mitch O'Hara

Editor: Tony Celentano


insightful Thanx!

I concur.

Not a bad playlist, I guess.

Binary, you mean?


good read

I'm not sure if I like the informational articles or the questioning ones better


A good read, though I think I like the questioning articles myself. Something there to for me to think about.

I enjoyed learning just a bit more about how the world would be different if not for certain people!

I had no idea!

Makes me wonder where I'd be right now if I had a comp sci degree instead.

interesting article with good points

Completely unrelated, but this new layout is awful...

Also unrelated, but still working on it. Sorry!


I want red ribbon too!

Yeah, I'm jealous

Actually, working on some cool new features for you guys, points, badges, levels, and all kinds of fun things.

can't wait!


IRE-wide, or game-specific?

can't wait!



I am actually rather lost with computer stuff



Still an interesting article

Interesting read

I like the new layout!

I liked this article.


As for background music, I tend to just listen to whatever. I like a lot of stuff, but eventually my selection gets boring and I get a different one. Changing genre completely!


Interesting insight into something that most people take for granted.

I'm addicted to both the internet and technology. If my computer died, I'd have to replace it within a day or so. Not being connected is an idea that, at this stage of life, seems alien to me.

Though every few months, I do like to completely unplug and disconnect myself from the rest of the world. Turn off the cell phones, leave the laptop at home and just head out into the woods. Do some fishing or just sleep out under the stars.

Coding makes computer works




something I have never tried, maybe it can help get rid of 'blocks' that keep us stuck.


I liked this article a lot more than some other recent ones, maybe because the subject matter is more relevant/interesting to me.

Since my coding is limited to stealing what people post on the forums and sobbing quietly when it doesn't work, I'll just latch on to the one thing that didn't make my eyes glaze over, the music list. Yay for music making everything better.


My playlist seems to consist of Wham!, the Cars, Boy George and the Culture Club, INXS, Flock of Seagulls, Tears for Fears, Cheap Trick, Information Society, Duran Duran, a-ha, New Order, the Eurythmics, and a few others the period.


To say nothing of the hair metal and glam rock.

I have the same trouble with internet - More than 24 hours I get jitters, 48, and I'm scrabbling for a smartphone to tether.



Isn't all software just one's and zeros?

Computers can only read in binary which is 1's and 0's that basically respond with either yes/no/true/false etc.


Primarly yes, however, not all programming languages are consisted of 1's and 0's, there are higher programming languages that are consistent with using words from the English language that enable the programmer to code software/applications for the computer to read in a language that is understanding to the programmer, however, the language will complie and translate it for the computer to read in binary.

I wouldn't know what to do without my computer but I am sure I would be able to survive. I often have the TV running for background noise as I pluck away at the keyboard.



c++ is great, but multiple inheritence is not necessary, overly complicated and usually misused.

I'm ambivalent to it, but I would prefer less real estate being used than more.

I see widgets on my mac from a deeper point of view, like it was possible for me to code them (actually I can't). That's why I enjoy the coding part mudding and I would not buy any system.

1's and 0's it is really one step below. That I cannot fathom.

As to music, my client now started speaking. Very fun.


Actually the step below most coding would be what is known as assembler, even PLC programming isn't all ones and zeros (it is just ones and zeros with variable naming).


This is how we know that the person who first invented computers was insane.


sanity is overrated

Need more coffee

A great read! Glad to see I am not the only one who does not listen to music as well. Not a music hater of course. Just have other things I'd rather be doing or listening to...

I like music but it can get distracting

Very interesting article, thanks!

I prefer music or at least some noise in the background or i get distracted.

My coding knowledge looks all the simpler, compared to this! Nice read.

good to dumb it down so I get it.

to play IRE games.

Well if you don't really have music it could get pretty boring quite fast, the music is to make you relax and what not :)

Really? But seriously though, nice article.



When I read the article's title I was expecting some examination of how items/loot in MMORPGs are all just coloured pixels, waypoints on the many treadmills of hollow accomplishment. It turned out to not be about that at all.


A silent background is the best, music is distracting and I'd end up not paying attention to Achaea even more if I listened to it regularly while playing.

Silence is the best. Even if I turn on the tv sometimes, I just end up ignoring it.


Zero is not a number. It is the absence of numbers. Without it, we wouldn't have any numbers. It's non-existance is the foundation for all of math...


... Zero is the absence of a charge in a particular bit. 



At least this one doesn't plug our games as "addicting" again. I call it an improvement.


credit is better than zero credits.

Interesting. Nice bit of history/biography.

Intresting read.

Glad I'm not the only one who needs to listen to music while playing games. I usually listen to a lot of movie music - it adds an extra layer of drama to whatever I'm doing in the game.

The more you know!


A very good read. 

I generaly ,like to listen to music. mot of you probly don't know what a compact disk is anymore  but I motly like to listen to country music and sometimes Josh Groban when I'm just sitting around chatting with my lusterna family or something. 

All of us

Has to be Sid Meier for me.

Most definitely starve without a computer at my disposal. Being involved in programming, I always knew he was the creator and author of C++, so it's interesting to an article highlighting his contributions to Irons Realms, even if totally indirectly. It's how Rapture software was written and now running as the backbone of our favourite games.

I've been calling Achaea an MMORPG since that acronym first became popular. But I didn't know anyone else was calling it that until this article. That's good. Now I won't feel so uncertain. The reason I didn't know was because I wasn't sure if the usual 100-300 people on the Achaea server fell under the category of "Massive" because certainly WOW has thousands of players at a time (I guess) andthat is massive but 300 players doesn't seem massive compared to that.

Massive for Achaea was a few years back when it was 600-800 people online at any given time. Putting it up against every other MMORPG would mean that IRE games are basically infinitesimal specs in the world of gaming. With a playerbase of no more than five or ten thousand while WoW and other games have literally millions or tens of millions. 


After playing Achaea for ten years, I still find having 300 people at maximum to me a large number, but I wouldn't personally qualify it as massive.



Music / not too annoying noise, in the background works for me.

I get -really- annoyed when my Internet drops, even for a few hours. Better not be standing between me and my Internets!



mmm c++

Is anything new being written in C++? I thought mostly legacy systems being maintained where it.

What languages are really being used the most out in the real world today.





are like peanut butter and chocolate, or Adam and Eve, or... or... I could go on forever. I think even people who limit their programming to trying to build systems to enhance their play experiences on the IRE games find that music makes that process more pleasurable and, at times, more productive.

Good read.

The man really is a divinity to programming, and without work from people like him we'd be very limited in what we can do in video games and just overall in our lives these days. Heck, even some gas station terminals are getting super high-tech, if there were a massive EMP pulse over the country (or the world for that matter) all human society would just..disintegrate. No zombie apocalpyse, just...apocalypse.

Nice, indeed

never thought they'd be so much fun

Nice read I enjoyed it, as far as music is concerned, I like to listen to Music Channel on my TV usually '80s music although usually it is just for background noise I dont really listen to it

nice read


1 for a credit


for the show


for the show

Luckily you don't need to know too much of this sort of thing to enjoy the games! I'm hopeless at it.


an interesting read

interesting but not my favorite kind of article to read

The complexity and power of a simple set of digits such as 1 and 0 is amazing, even looking at nucleotides in genetic makeup makes you really appreciate coding languages and what they can do.

and insightful


Should be able to literally be a troll. :P

Is partitioned bits of energy particles formulating patterned sequences that adhere the given 'programming' rules that is Creation. What's the point?

I wanted to be a coder. 

I could of sworn there was a 2.....O.O

1's and 0's can go a long way. The human eye is essentially just a bunch of on/off receptors!

I know and use over a dozen languages, but C++ is still my goto language (no pun intended).

I didn't appreciate the calling out of one system programmer in particular.

And informative. Thanks!

1s and 0s bring reality into our world of fantasy, that's for sure.

I'm horrible at math.


My dad met him at a programmer's conference. He teased my dad for wearing a tie. :P

I failed. Well, in Asian standards, I did really bad. How do I code now?!

I got my degree as a programmer and failed on maths. I took all extra classes, and my teachers were aware of my efforts and still making only very slow progress. So at the end of the year, it seems I was eligible for discussion, which means you should technically fail but it is an edge case. It seems that because all my other grades were so high, they let me pass. It still gives me problems at times, but I've learned to not totally hate maths due to a really funny / awesome teacher, which does a lot to keep one motivated to improve.