The Digital Antiquarian

The Digital Antiquarian A history of computer entertainment and digital culture by Jimmy Maher

  • This Week on The Analog Antiquarian
    by Jimmy Maher on October 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Part 2: Babylon and Mesopotamia

  • Transport Tycoon
    by Jimmy Maher on October 2, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Anyone who has followed the career of the British game developer Chris Sawyer down through the years knows that he prefers to go his own way. This was true from the very beginning. In 1980, when Sawyer was fourteen years old, Sinclair Research subcontracted out the manufacture of the ZX80 — the cheap microcomputer that

  • X-COM
    by Jimmy Maher on September 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    X-COM seemed to come out of nowhere. Its release was not preceded by an enormous marketing campaign with an enormous amount of hype. It had no video demo playing in the front window of Babbages, it wasn’t advertised twelve months in advance on glossy foldout magazine inserts, it had no flashing point-of-purchase kiosks. It didn’t

  • Bullfrog after Populous
    by Jimmy Maher on September 4, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I’ll give you an analogy of what Populous is in my mind. Imagine if I had a blank canvas. Some people that are true artists will take a palette of paint and mix them together and carefully handcraft each and every single brushstroke until they have some beautiful and amazing picture. And then there’s me.

  • Death Gate
    by Jimmy Maher on August 21, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Licensed games are often dismissed as supremely cynical cash grabs. And for the most part, this judgment is correct: the majority of them are indeed dispiriting affairs. But no thing in life is all one thing. Take, for instance, the story of Legend Entertainment, which upends all of our prejudices about the licensing racket. Rather