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A tale of the original MMORPG

GrumpyOldGuyGrumpyOldGuy Arlington, VAPosts: 5Member

I swung by here over the weekend, to ask if anyone knew where I should 'publish' (for lack of a better word) a story I wrote about the very first MMORPG to ever get off the ground.  A couple folks suggested that a good start would be a blog right here on this very website.  Well... I put it up.

The title of my blog is "Tales of the Multiverse," though so far it only has one tale.  But that one is rather a whopper.  So be warned - it's a good read, but it isn't short (15k words, which is about 25 single spaced pages).

To say that I would like some readers and comments is hardly adequate.  Please take a look... pasted below is the intro to the story, which a few of you may have already seen...




My story takes place where fantasy and reality overlap. It’s about a turning point in human existence that has passed unremarked so far, a moment when something fundamental changed for the species, a course change for the ship of history steaming placid as a cow through green fields of time. The helmsman spins the wheel and the rudder swings over though the ship keeps straight for a while before she begins to turn.

But the rudder has turned.

We are nosing over to our new direction even now. And the course change will gain clarity with every passing year, become more obvious. It will never lessen until the day technology dies. And if that happens, most of us will die as well.

Skynet is a bad idea, Air Force guys.

You’re gonna get us all killed by those robots, I’m telling you.

But in the meantime, the times they are a-changin’ and we should take note. Maybe I’m the only one who was there who wants to write it down anyway, we were a small group, only five hundred of us in the Beta, and writers not so common among Beta testing computer gamers anyway. Maybe I’m the first to take the multiverse completely seriously, to recognize it as reality. I sort of hope so. Because that part is true: reality is falling into a new pattern, a new alignment, even as we speak. Part of what is real has changed forever, though none of us will live long enough to see the final result.

I don’t know anyone else who’s said so out loud, though I might have just missed it.

There’s an awful lot of stuff out there flying by, you can’t catch it all.


I was present at the dawn of virtual time, the birth of the multiverse.

I saw God reach out his fingertip to touch Adam, the moment of germination, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It’s true. Because I was part of the first persistent online universe. The very first.

Even the Beta test before it went Gold, before it went live. The first time it ever happened, that people lived online. The first iteration, the first large group ever cut loose from physical bodies to become pure ego, pure identity, pure personality interacting on the web, avatars without worry of physical pain or legal repercussion. And the way we reacted to the stimulus is worth recording, the way we rose or sank to the occasion. What we did, the first explorers of the virtual universe, Digital Cortez and Hex-Code Pizarro, free of compulsion, free of consequence, able to act however we wished.

It wasn’t very pretty.

And maybe you’ll want to say that it wasn’t quite divine creation, God and Adam, whatever. But that Play-Doh-stuck-together-with-duct-tape-and-Elmer’s-Glue world was the original incarnation of the endless parallel electronic universes that are all around us now. The multiverse, where more and more of the future will be lived. It was a vision of the future, that cloudiest of crystal balls.

It’s real already, and growing.

There are friends there, and enemies.


The first live version of Ultima Online had a hundred thousand players.

In that hundred thousand there must be others who remember events as clearly as I do, or better. I only know personally what happened on Chesapeake, and there were fewer than ten thousand of us there. But there may be other voices; someone else may someday have something to say about this, maybe a footnote in a musty history of the digital dawn, more accurate in its facts than my account.

If anyone cares that much. Maybe not.

But anyway, don’t get after me about every little detail. This is my version of events.


And one final caveat. There is something missing from this story.

There is no female lead. There is no kissing. There are no girls.

That is not a problem. There were no girls on the desert island in Lord of the Flies and those fellows did just fine. Girls have cooties anyway.

This story is about boys.


and if you find that at all interesting, go check out the whole story on my blog.  Please!


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