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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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An Early Multiplayer Game

I was lucky enough to experience one of the earliest multiplayer games. This was carried out at the University of California at Davis in 1972. A young sociology professor wanting to study group behavior set up a huge strategy wargame. He recruited several dozen wargamers, divided us into teams of six players, and gave each team a country to run. Each country had an economy, a foreign policy, military capabilities, and so forth. The economies were built around oil. There were about a dozen countries in the game world, which was represented on a huge hexgrid map. Every Sunday night, we would play one turn. The referees gathered at a secret location on campus containing a large map and telephoned each team at its designated ...

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