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$12

I all those summers

Description

This particular game was called Colossal Cave Adventure, a text only network of RS 07 Gold caves and treasures that sprawled like a tomb of hieroglyphs, so truly massive and confounding that I’ve not solved it to this day, which feels right. Today, digital historians call Colossal Cave Adventure the “granddaddy” of text adventure Runescape games. A spelunker named Will Crowther made it for his daughters, to help show them his cave crawling pastime as he endured a divorce with his wife. His work parented Charlotte and I all those summers, in a different era, when it felt like we children could lock ourselves away and go absent for hours without making our parents afraid. Much of our playtime was spent concentrating on Runescape game itself, rubber cementing reams of printer paper end to end to map the cave and its strange place names: Bedquilt; the Hall of the Mountain King; mazes of identical, twisting passages, an alcove where a hollow voice cried “Plugh”. The virtual cave network contained a Ming vase, a set of batteries, a bent rod crowned with a rusty star, all kinds of objects to be collected for some inexplicable purpose. The rest of the time, we tumbled forth into our real life suburban wildlands, the scraggly woods that lay between one grassy yard and another, the tiny duck pond that looms large in my memory. Everywhere, it seemed, we saw a puzzle, a mystery. Why was that bundle of twigs leaned against an old oak? Why did some stones glitter when you struck them, and others stank of gunpowder instead? Under this log, a salamander, and under that, a nest of beetles. There were loamy, unseen living things always scuttling just out of reach. We left notes and signs wherever we could get away with it, and it felt like important work. This knothole could be a button. Behold this twig stripped of its bark and written in by termites a magic staff! The things that lay beyond our reach in the digital world seemed to mirror and echo the natural mysteries we found when we played outdoors. At the end of the day, I’d be in trouble for the mud on my shoes or for coming home a little too late, but I always tromped into the front door feeling like I was almost, almost somewhere. Like I’d almost solved it, whatever “it” really was. There were, there had to be, gorgeous infrastructures beyond what I could reach, just waiting for me to know the right words. The whole world a blinking prompt, daring me, ENTER COMMAND. “BREATHING MACHINE: A Memoir of Computers” is available on multiple e reading platforms. Unknown Worlds, the studio responsible for Natural Selection and the upcoming Subnautica, has released the source code of the original Natural Selection mod for Half Life as a free download on Github.Despite being freely available, the code isn’t technically open source some of the files in the package bear copyright license text stipulating that “contents may be used and or copied only with the written permission of Charles G. Cleveland,” which is sparking some confusion and consternation among GitHub users.

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  • Listed by: rousutt
  • Member Since: 03/10/2015

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