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MMOS FROM THE INSIDE OUT: THE HISTORY, DESIGN, FUN, AND ART OF MASSIVELY-MULTIPLAYER ONLINE ROLE-PLAYING GAMES by Richard Bartle

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CHAPTER 1

On History

CompSoc

In the late 1970s, students at Essex University wishing to use its DECsystem-10 mainframe for academic work were allocated a project-programmer number (PPN). Mine was [4011,4243]. This came with a fixed set of resources that allowed roughly two hours at a terminal each week.

If you wanted to do non-academic work on the computer, that meant joining the Computer Society. Actually, its name might have been the Computing Society; we just called it CompSoc the whole time.

CompSoc made resources available for non-academic use; indeed, if you used your CompSoc PPN for assignments, you would lose it and get zero marks for those assignments. It was solely for play: it could only be used in the evenings and on weekends, when the ...

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