Welcome and thank you for subscribing to the 50 Years of Text Games series! Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know the first post on The Oregon Trail (1971) will go live this Thursday, and to say a few brief words about how the series will work going forward.
New articles will be posted early Thursday mornings US time. We’ll move forward in chronological order, one game per week per year, until the end of December and the last game in the series, a title from 2021—TBD, as you might expect! I will only rarely make posts like this one outside the main series, but might do so very occasionally if there’s something I think readers would be especially interested in.
Reading the Articles
Each new article will get emailed to you like this one, unless you turn off email delivery on your preferences page on Substack. You can also read the stories in your web browser, and an RSS feed is available. I’ll also tweet links to new stories as they go live from @aaronareed. You’re welcome to comment yourself on Twitter with the hashtag #50YearsOfTextGames.
If you’re a paid subscriber, you should be able to view this post with details about connecting to the private Discord for discussion and bonus content. You can also adjust your subscription between paid and unpaid on your Substack preferences page.
I welcome comments and, especially, corrections! You folks reading this series represent a tremendous hive mind of enthusiasts and experts, and I’d be remiss not to listen to your feedback. You can reply to an emailed post to send a comment directly to me, or leave a public comment by clicking through the title to the web version, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking the dialogue bubble icon.
I’ll be linking to some citations inline, and listing major research sources at the end of each article, but full citations won’t appear until the final published book. If you’re interested about where a certain piece of information came from in the meantime, ping me and I’m happy to share my research notes.
You should get ready in advance for the fact that I might not cover your favorite game. Don’t take it personally. The schedule for this series is an enormous Jenga tower and chain of dependencies: if I talk about one game over here, that lets me cover this subgenre and that interesting story; but it means I’m leaving something else out, which I might try to correct by shuffling around the coverage for a different year, which then leaves something else out; etc.; etc. Inevitably, there will be hundreds of worthy games not covered, but this certainly doesn’t mean those titles aren’t interesting, important, or great. It just means they weren’t on this particular tour.
That’s it for now! Thanks again for joining me on this journey, and see you Thursday for our first post.
Are you aware of the game Kingdom of Loathing? Probably so, but if not it is well worth looking into for possible inclusion on your list.
A browser based, mostly text, rpg mmo. It has survived almost 20 years where other MMOs have faded away, by using a clever mechanic that combines leveling up with new game plus. Give it a look, I guarantee it will be worth your time.