50 Years of Text Games: 1984 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #VintageComputing #Gaming

Aaron A. Reed reviews the classic text adventure game The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy released in 1984.

Douglas Adams, at first, did not like computers. In fact he had built a career out of making fun of them with his Hitchhiker’s Guide franchise, which began on the radio before spilling into other media, most famously a bestselling series of books. Hitchhiker’s is hard to summarize, but one of its overarching themes is that technology, in the hands of big business and bloated bureaucracies, does not make life better: in fact it makes it far, far worse. Hence characters like Marvin, a robot given a “Genuine People Personality” who promptly becomes terminally, insufferably depressed; Deep Thought, tasked with finding the meaning of life and coming back six million years later with the number 42.

While living in Hollywood for a year as he attempted to write a Hitchhiker’s screenplay, Adams bought his own computer, and he got hooked.

…he discovered interactive fiction. He played Adventure, and then got turned on to the games of Infocom: Suspended, in particular, fascinated him. He “discovered that there was a sort of great world of wit and invention and logical problems” in text games. “And I suddenly thought, ‘I would love to be doing this.’”

While Adams originally wanted to do something other than another Hitchhiker’s adaptation, it was by far the most obvious choice for a project, and he perked up at the notion that the game could be more experimental than previous incarnations.

Read much more in this well written review and history of the game.

Would you like to play the game? BBC Radio 4 has an online version here.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
By Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky
Released: October 1984 (Infocom)
Original Price: $39.95
Language: ZIL
Platform: Z-Machine version 3 (Apple II; Atari 8-bit; Commodore 16, Plus/4, 64; PC DOS; Macintosh; TI-99/4A; TRS-80)

 


Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.