When History Was Made

Via The Economist, this is fascinating:

“More person years have been lived in the first decade of the current century than in all of the 17th century. And nearly 80% of the economic output of the last millenium has been produced in just the last 110 years. Everyone likes to think that they live in historical times. As it so happens, we do.”

Here’s a Real ‘Computer’ Game

Via Ezra Klein, the first version of ‘The Oregon Trail’ game:

“With no monitor, the original version of Oregon Trail was played by answering prompts that printed out on a roll of paper. At 10 characters per second, the teletype spat out, ‘How much do you want to spend on your oxen team?’ or, ‘Do you want to eat (1) poorly (2) moderately or (3) well?’ Students typed in the numerical responses, then the program chugged through a few basic formulas and spat out the next prompt along with a status update. ‘Bad illness — medicine used,’ it might say. ‘Do you want to (1) hunt or (2) continue?’ Hunting required the greatest stretch of the user’s imagination. Instead of a point-and-shoot game, the teletype wrote back, ‘Type BANG.’ ”

— The history of the Oregon Trail.

You can’t even call that a ‘video’ game. That’s the real deal.