MADE, the museum of art and digital entertainment, will be holding a marathon hacking session September 28th in an effort to bring the nearly 30 year old MMO Habitat back to life. According to a post on MADE’s blog, the project is important because it is necessary to preserve our digital heritage because it reminds people how far we’ve come and just where the game industry has its roots.
“Lucasfilm Games and the work of Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer on Habitat were extremely far ahead of their time. In an era where the online service that hosted the game was only available on evenings and weekends, these two men built a completely new type of online interaction, and they built it in such a robust way that we anticipate, almost thirty years later, that this 1989-era server hardware can support up to 10,000 users,” said Alex Handy, founder and director of the MADE.
Habitat itself is a MMO-style game that was first released in 1988 and was developed by Lucasfilm games. Much like modern MMOs, Habitat allowed users to create avatars and interact in real-time with other users and the game world around them. MADE notes that in many ways that Habitat is the ancestor of many of today’s popular MMO titles, such as World Of Warcraft.
If the hacking attempt is successful, Habitat will be kept online and playable via 1980s era servers donated by Stratus Technology.
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