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 May 22, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    The Oracle of Delphi, Chapter 16: The Shame of Cleomenes and the Glory of Miltiades

  • The Shareware Scene, Part 3: The id Boys
    by Jimmy Maher on May 15, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    On December 14, 1990, Scott Miller of Apogee Software uploaded the free first installment of his company’s latest episodic game. He knew as he did so that this release would be, if you’ll pardon the pun, a game changer for Apogee. To signal that this was truly a next-generation Apogee game, he doubled his standard

  • The Shareware Scene, Part 2: The Question of Games
    by Jimmy Maher on May 1, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    In one of the last interviews he gave before his death, shareware pioneer Jim Button said that he “had written off the idea of shareware games” prior to the beginning of the 1990s. At the time, it seemed a reasonable position to take, one based on quite a bit of evidence. While any number of

  • The Shareware Scene, Part 1: The Pioneers
    by Jimmy Maher on April 17, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    The digital society which we’ve created over the last few decades has upended many of our traditional notions about commerce. Everyday teenagers now stress over their ratings and advertising revenues on YouTube; gamers in “free” games pay staggering sums for the privilege of advancing through them a little faster (wasn’t the actual playing supposed to

  • The (7th) Guest’s New Clothes
    by Jimmy Maher on April 3, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Once upon a time, two wizards decided to remake the face of computer gaming with the help of a new form of magic known as CD-ROM. They labored for years on their task, while the people waited anxiously, pouncing upon the merest hint the wizards let drop of what the final product would look like.