Red-eyed dust bunny
A bit dry, but this article and its sequel had some good practical worldbuilding advice.Blueprint for a big game: Jim Dutton, the head of the new AD&D PbM game, talks about the creation of the structure for it. This is the kind of thing that causes substantial logistical hassles. You have to structure your world building in a very different way to tabletop, and build up a lot more before you start, because winging it when you have hundreds of parties wandering around a continent is a recepie for disaster. While this gives you lots of advice in how to build your own game in an organized fashion, it doesn't actually reveal that much about the setting of the PbM game (spoilers, blah blah), and the way it's written is rather dull. Someone is rather better at technical writing than fun fluff details. Anyway, did anyone play this back in the day? What was it like? Just how much did they have to change the rules to make the week-long turn cycles work.
The internet had been around for a while, but it wasn't available for PCs and the cost and inaccessibility of mini and mainframes restricted it mostly to the government (military), universities, and good sized businesses. Dial-up services like CompuServ were spreading but they were still proprietary and didn't talk to each other. Bulletin boards systems like FidoNet had jumped to the PC world. A few years yet before most of the BBSes and the online services provided portals to the internet, and a few more years after that until the web appeared (everything was still text based). Usenet newsgroups were popular. IRC, an internet chat network that became popular in the early 1990s was a couple years away. I forget exactly when the first widespread commercial networking products for PCs became available, but Windows for Workgroups is half a dozen years away and we're still talking LANs not WANs.Fiction: Catacomb by Henry Melton. A rather meta tale of adventuring within a MMORPG text adventure game. (very interesting in itself from a historical perspective. How common was computer networking back then? ) And they already have gold farmers. How prophetic. The anachronism of it being text based aside, this really does feel like it could have been set today. The human drama side of the writing is pretty solid too. It's not quite a full-on classic, but I'm really rather impressed by this. Sometimes, they manage to get things spot-on. Have some kudos, if you're still around.
Perhaps the most prescient piece of fiction in the history of the magazine. Decent story too, and the protagonist was easy to sympathize with.