Back in 1975 I was a freshman at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.  It was a fascinating time for me in many ways, and one of those ways was the discovery in the basement of the Foreign Language Resources Building, FLRB, of primitive computer terminals running the Plato system.  Designed at the University of Illinois in the sixties, go here to read about it, Plato had the completely unforeseen effect of launching personal computer games.


I quickly began playing Empire, the space conquest game.  The administration at the U of I hated that precious computer terminals were being hogged by students wasting their time playing a game.  In my second semester, the administration effectively locked gamers out of the terminals at FLRB, and over the next few years played a game of cat and mouse with us, as Empire enthusiasts found terminals to occupy until the administration got wind of it.  Rinse and repeat a thousand times.  More than a few of my gaming colleagues launched their careers in the computer industry from this exposure, and I became an early enthusiast for applying computer technology to the law.

Go here to read about the later development of the Empire game.  Go here to read about the late Silas Warner, one of the godfathers of Empire, who went on in 1981 to create the greatest shooter of all time, Castle Wolfenstein.

Published in: on January 5, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Plato  
Tags: ,