ESR Announces The Open Sourcing Of The World’s First Text Adventure

An anonymous reader writes:
Open source guru Eric S. Raymond added something special to his GitHub page: an open source version of the world’s first text adventure. “Colossal Cave Adventure” was first written in 1977, and Raymond remembers it as “the origin of many things; the text adventure game, the dungeon-crawling D&D (computer) game, the MOO, the roguelike genre. Computer gaming as we know it would not exist without ADVENT (as it was known in its original PDP-10 incarnation…because PDP-10 filenames were limited to six characters of uppercase)…

“Though there’s a C port of the original 1977 game in the BSD game package, and the original FORTRAN sources could be found if you knew where to dig, Crowther & Woods’s final version — Adventure 2.5 from 1995 — has never been packaged for modern systems and distributed under an open-source license. Until now, that is. With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure.”
Calling it one of the great artifacts of hacker history, ESR writes about “what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software,” ultimately concluding version control lets you preserve the original and continue improving it “as a living and functional artifact. We respect our history and the hackers of the past best by carrying on their work and their playfulness.”

“Despite all the energy Crowther and Woods had to spend fighting ancient constraints, ADVENT was a tremendous imaginative leap; there had been nothing like it before, and no text adventure that followed it would be innovative to quite the same degree.”


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