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06:11, 24th July 2024 (GMT+0)

Tell me about the history.

Posted by goset33
goset33
member, 1 post
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 11:04
  • msg #1

Tell me about the history

Welcome everyone here. I just registered.
I found your forum in order to study the history of all Roleplay on the Internet, starting from its very appearance. So I would like to ask you all what you know about this.
Have you participated in the RP on even older forums (If so, which ones?), what do you know about the old RP from about 2007, etc.
I will be glad for any historical information, thanks in advance
SunRuanEr
subscriber, 532 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 11:52
  • msg #2

Tell me about the history

Welcome to RPoL!

goset33:
...the history of all Roleplay on the Internet, starting from its very appearance.


Are you interested specifically in the transference of traditionally tabletop RPGs to internet forums, or literally ALL roleplay on the internet? I remember RPing in MUDs back as early as 1995, which would definitely count as 'on the internet' but that wasn't RPG-related or involving a forum. I imagine that many of us could reference play-by-email games from the late 90s, too, which would also be technically 'on the internet', but not on a forum.

Just curious specifically what you're looking for, before we start trying to answer. =)
soulsight
member, 354 posts
Reality is 10% perception
and 90% interpretation.
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 11:59
  • msg #3

Tell me about the history

In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 2):

Besides, online role playing predates "the internet" (as the term is usually used). The history of online roleplay would begin with Compuserve's "CB Simulator" (about 1980). Using that platform would have been similar to playing in a discord. Using the message space on a bulletin board system for role playing would have been similar to the pbp done through forums. There are few differences between RPG's on those old systems and what happens here. Remember, the original D&D was printed a decade and a half before Berners-Lee had even proposed his idea for the world wide web. Online systems were built to mimic the interactions at the table top, experiences from earlier incarnations would mostly revolve around how well the platforms managed that mimicry.
goset33
member, 2 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 12:33
  • msg #4

Tell me about the history

In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 2):

Okay, I didn't think this would go this deep. I'm interested in all the roleplay games you know
donsr
member, 2940 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 12:53
  • msg #5

Tell me about the history

been around  along  time... I started on AOL ,where we  had chat room games, and Rped  across the rooms, in battles, or just 'stayed in your own yard"

 Yahoo groups were good. But  just like any other site..games  would start  and Die... I was in a Number of groups there, for various  systems.  one game a ran there,  I started   back up here. I had  i guy rack me down from there, to here!..he plays now.

 E-Z boards  were a good   set up..i was in many games  on many  sites. But Hackers got  in and Killed  them off.

 I found this site.. I play here and  Run  a few games here. I've been here since  Oct 2005. I'm not the oldest  vet here!.. i played   for  years before Running games  starting in 2010.

 I am on one other site, which is not  my fav site, this site is sleek, everything where you want it and need it. The Admins  make sure   they  keep  the jerks  at bay, and  give everyone here a  good  place to play.

 as mentioned above.. everyone here, most likely started  as table  top..back in the day, there was  'Play by Mail'...now we have this place.  quick turn arounds   limited, only, by how often folks can post.. I have people from around the globe in my games, something you could never  do any other way.
OBorg
member, 29 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 13:55
  • msg #6

Re: Tell me about the history

goset33:
Welcome everyone here. I just registered.
I found your forum in order to study the history of all Roleplay on the Internet, starting from its very appearance. So I would like to ask you all what you know about this.
Have you participated in the RP on even older forums (If so, which ones?), what do you know about the old RP from about 2007, etc.
I will be glad for any historical information, thanks in advance


The name has been adopted by other programs/places since, but back in 1996 there was a website called WebRPG.com with a massive set of forums covering both general subjects and specific game systems (too big really, visitors got lost in the woods) plus a text only chatroom. There was Play by Post/forum roleplay there but as there was no die roller it was more or less freeform.
The brothers who ran WebRPG moved on and sold it to James Somebodyorother who incorporated it into a site of his called RPGHost. He then ran it into the ground and renamed the remains as RPGLife, which had more spambots than users and died in anonymity some time later.

Aside from that there was UseNet, which definately had online RPG newsgroups, so I'm sure there would have been Play-by-Post games going on somewhere.
NowhereMan
member, 503 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 19:45
  • msg #7

Re: Tell me about the history

Well, the Illuminati BBS for Steve Jackson Games started in 86, so that might be worth looking into for you.
tmagann
member, 904 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 19:56
  • msg #8

Re: Tell me about the history

goset33:
Have you participated in the RP on even older forums (If so, which ones?), what do you know about the old RP from about 2007, etc.
I will be glad for any historical information, thanks in advance


I started on Irony.com, which was ads for PBeMS, many actually played on Yahoo groups, eventually, although some (especially in the earlier days) were simply done directly through email.

I moved here after Irony shut down. It was a one man operation, as I recall. It's been about 20 years since it shut down, I think.
LittleStar
member, 7 posts
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 20:51
  • msg #9

Re: Tell me about the history

SunRuanEr:
Welcome to RPoL!

<quote goset33>... count as 'on the internet' but that wasn't RPG-related or involving a forum. I imagine that many of us could reference play-by-email games from the late 90s, too, which would also be technically 'on the internet', but not on a forum.


I roleplayed on IRC - also technically 'on the internet' but not on a forum nor involving any particular RPG. IRC was a great place to learn because it was ruthless in terms of instant feedback/critique when you messed up. D:
Veda
member, 7 posts
Knowledge has a
beginning but no end
Thu 2 Nov 2023
at 22:08
  • msg #10

Re: Tell me about the history

Again not really a forum, but I used to RP on the ISCABBS via telnet back in the day -- even went to an ISCAnic once, their annual picnic.  It was somewhere in the mid-90's when I started though the setup had been around for some years before that.  It's still around as far as I know though I haven't looked at it in years.  There might still be some old-timers there.
facemaker329
member, 7480 posts
Gaming for over 40
years, and counting!
Fri 3 Nov 2023
at 03:37
  • msg #11

Tell me about the history

In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 2):

Ah, yes...I played on a variety of MUDs/MUSHes/MUSEs.  I got introduced to them in late 1990/early 91 (one of the guys in my college drumline was an admin for MicroMUSE), and I was a regular denizen until I stopped attending college (working on a 2nd BA) in 2000.  I roleplayed online even earlier than that...did some stuff via IRC relays starting in 1986...but the IRC stuff wasn't really engaging in RPGs, it was more kind of themed chatting (I was using a dialup connection to the university mainframe...at 300bps.  I typed faster than my modem transmitted...)

I had some vague awareness of PbP existing, but didn't really pursue it until a friend of mine said he wanted to start a game on here and invited me to join.  That was a little over a decade and a half ago...he decided a forum-based game would have better flow than trying to keep everyone up to speed in a play-by-email format, which was the other option he'd been considering.

So, I'm in the odd position of having a long history of playing on the internet, while at the same time having extremely limited experience at it.
Zag24
supporter, 777 posts
Fri 3 Nov 2023
at 14:30
  • msg #12

Tell me about the history

You guys are such puppies.  I remember playing Adventure in 1978, at the same event where I first played D&D.  (It was a four-week pre-college session at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology that I attended.  It's a wonder that I actually completed my project when I was there.)

If you want to study role-playing on computers (long before the Internet), that's where you should start.  I found this: https://www.historyofinformati...m/detail.php?id=2020.
jase
admin, 3846 posts
Cogito, ergo procuro.
Carpe stultus!
Sat 18 Nov 2023
at 06:41

Tell me about the history

So to be equal parts self-indulgent and topical:

I started an "advanced certificate" in programming at a technical college in 1990 or 1991, which pre-dates the public internet by several years.  One of the other students recommended I join a local "bulletin board system" (called "1990 Multiline") so I could download resources as they received shipments of CDs and/or floppy disks and put them up on the board.  Yes, I had to wait for physical media to be transported via ship/air until I could access it.

We all connected by modems (think screeching fax) so everyone was calling via a local call to connect.  The BBS had to have a physical receiving modem for each inbound call and I think at the time of joining they had 12 lines.  So 12 (local) people could connect at any one time.  The 13th person would get a busy tone and have to redial again later (or those who were obsessed, redial constantly).

Anyway, I quickly discovered a whole bunch of other resources, such as chat, MUDs and a roleplay section.  Think screens such as these.  It was all "press 1" or "press A" to select what you were doing, possibly some fancy arrow key navigation.  The RP section had character sheets, a cast list, messages (no groups though) and 1-1 messaging.  That was about it but hey it was an upgrade from the rocks we were bashing together beforehand.

By the time I gave it up and migrated to plain old internet (which at the time was shiny new internet) they had maybe 60 lines but it was still using the same technology.  The internet far surpassed BB systems and 1990 eventually faltered before completely collapsing.

The story of RPoL is that sometime in around 1999/2000 I was contacted by Skald to say that 1990 Multiline was closing and the games needed a new home.  He'd looked around in the internet and though it was slim pickings he'd discovered PlayByWeb.  Skald asked if I'd like to rejoin the action and also what did I think of PBW and did I know anywhere better.  I wasn't a fan but it was the best available.  I could do better, I declared, and then after brief contemplation decided that I should prove it.

So after some hacking around RPoL was released toward the end of 2000.
1492
member, 148 posts
I like monkeys
Sat 18 Nov 2023
at 06:59
  • msg #14

Tell me about the history

Ah, thank you so much, Jase, for sharing that! Very cool.  I've been around forever but didn't know the specific history of this site.
donsr
member, 2954 posts
Sat 18 Nov 2023
at 13:28
  • msg #15

Tell me about the history

 I  couldn't tech my way out of a digital bag. But I know this. when i was still working  I played on a site, that the only had   one gave of any use (to me) Playing,  I would get home  from work and try to catch up, the game  was gear, very good  DNs. The sad part, the site  would  crash ..alot!. I even bought a new  computer, becaus ei though it was me.

anyway..about 5 years ago, they resurfaced on another site... The  site is 'o.k.'  and some folks there love it. I don't. I have to keep a  direct link to my game, otherwise i have to navigate  through   hundreds  of threads.. I don't like their  dice roller, or the way the color works, there is a limit  to  how many PMs  you can  have  'sent out'  'recived' ( unless you  are a 'community supporter'. I am not,  I send   donates  to Jase for this site).

 I tried to get them to come here, 2 of the GMs  did.. One, just siad not thanks  , even after  i R-mailed him with how to use  things.. another   ran a game for a year here. but he would 'forget about it"..F8nally he  just stopped.

 I love it  here..Like i tell new folks. everything on one mage.  my games  are  right there on the list, PMs  and Maps. I only wish i was good enough  to  use Pics..some  folks  use them , and it adds to my games.

anyway..I've been here for a while, Skald  sent this to me a few years ago. I have it  save

.....

I had   437... Skald  got a pretty  pin point  as to my start date as ... "Before 08:00, Sun 23 Oct 2005".  Old school.  ;>

....

this place is a  far  cry from RP in  AOL chat rooms!
LazeyWinde
member, 794 posts
LW
Mon 1 Apr 2024
at 00:49
  • msg #16

Tell me about the history

Am I the only person here to use Yahoo clubs? Not groups, clubs. I was in so many of those, mostly based on Redwall and Harry Potter and were freeform because it was the late 90s. They merged with Yahoo Groups (which used to be Egroups) somewhere in the early 2000s.
nauthiz
subscriber, 813 posts
Mon 1 Apr 2024
at 00:56
  • msg #17

Tell me about the history

No.

Most of my early PbP was done via Yahoo Clubs/Groups.

It was that and IRC, along with some Play by E-Mail that all played a part during various periods as far as my online role playing went.
donsr
member, 3055 posts
Mon 1 Apr 2024
at 01:32
  • msg #18

Tell me about the history

my main sourse  was Yahoo  groups, until the keep getting viruses up  and  GM let games die.. My fantasy  game is  a branch off of  my Yahoo  game..even had  one player hunt me down after   about 5 years and  found me here, rejoined the game..that was cool.

 as folks have her me say..EZ Boards  were the  movers  and shakers, until virus  folks killed them off... I am  in complete agreement  with those  type of   folks getting their hands removed.

 Yahoo suffered from the same thing as well as spammers and such.. its nice in here.. Admins protect the site, we have good people here for the most  part, bad  folks  don't stay long
darknash
member, 182 posts
Mon 1 Apr 2024
at 02:11
  • msg #19

Tell me about the history

AOL OLGF's- Mostly Vampire/WoD.
Branching off of that ACLU's online message boards. Because no ToS.
And then for PbP, nothing until here I think.
ladysharlyne
subscriber, 3713 posts
Member before Oct 2005
Been here for appx 20+yrs
Sat 13 Apr 2024
at 22:29
  • msg #20

Tell me about the history

Greetings

I am 70 yrs young.  I started on AOL chat rooms freeform type games.  Mainly GOR, John Norman’s world.  or vampir, supernatural fun.  Then I discovered Tahoo chat rooms which were basically the same thing.  Looking for more in need to feed my creative writing need I came across a PBM online game called Age of Ashes.  The thing that got me there and in My Space rp was you had to have  an email for every character and separate ligins!  So I was again looking for more and about 2002 found RPol.  A place I could play characters in a game with only one site ligin.  I have the need to play my leading females and male characters and so within months I was GMing all my own games of freeform!  There are players here older than me too!  What I have found gere are likeminded players who become online friends for life!  Not every game here is for everyone because we are all different individuals!  What Jase, his fabulous admin/moderators and helpful fellow members is amazing!  I looked no more when I found my gaming home here and my online family and friends.  They have always been here as OOC support and you not find a better online gaming world anywhere on the web!  Yes, improving games anywhere is constantly evolving.  I look back at the past, love playing n the present and look forward to the future but for me it will always be right here on RPol!  ;)
MSuper
member, 3 posts
Small indie studio
Sun 7 Jul 2024
at 07:00
  • msg #21

Tell me about the history

Great to see everyone of all ages is on the forum!

There was a time when internet cafes were crazy at every corner and you could find great people there!

I remember how everyone was amazed with the new phenomenon called internet. Of course, everyone was very respectful back then.

Many years later things changed and people born with internet have no respect for anything. Having google all your life probably transforms you into a prince/princess automatically.

But I guess every generation is different.

Onwards to new adventures!
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