Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 125 / JANUARY 1991 / PAGE 65

Realms of adventure. (computer fantasy games) (The Brave New World of Electronic Games)
by Kellee Monahan

>From dungeons and dragons to galaxies far, far away, computer games provide a wide world of fantasy

Who goes there? bellows the Dungeon Master. "I, the brave knight. I have come to defeat the Red Dragon, he who has robbed and pillaged the countryside. I've come to reclaim his lair's treasure, of which he is undeserving." The spell is cast and you enter the world of game role playing. The forces of evil stand before you. What will you do? This is medieval legend in the remaking. Role-playing gamers can journey to worlds of gothic horror, wild West adventure, or epic saga.

The more you know about the historical period you're playing in, the better off you are. Gary Gygax, a Chicago insurance broker, designed the first role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons, in 1974. Now the game and publishing company TSR provides fantasy adventures for some 10 million players worldwide. Frank Beuttell, a TSR executive, says, "In spite of the economy, business is strong. People would rather do without other things before giving up their hobby."

interactive adventure games take you around the world--and beyond. Clockwise, from upper left: Starship pilots race for the hangar in Origin's Wing Commander. Spectrum HoloByte takes off with Flight of the Intruder, based on the Stephen Coonts novel, and Student Driver, fulfilling every Sunday driver's fantasies. Broderbund combines entertainment and astronomy education in Where in Space Is Han Solo? And the company's Carmen Sandiego will be a Saturday-morning television program.

You are in the twenty-fifth century: Earth is dilapidated, Mars is habitable but controlled by an evil corporation, and the asteroid belt is home to outcast desperadoes. It's a tough universe out there. Your mission: Support Buck Rogers in his quest for freedom on planet Earth. The legendary space hero has appeared in comic strips, radio, television, and film. His return in the form of role playing through group, computer, or video systems is classic space adventure.

Buck is not the only one concerned about the future: TSR has other worlds in mind. With half a million new gamers annually, high technology is a constant interest for TSR. "We are looking to future applications of CDs with filmlike effects, computer bulletin boards, and virtual reality," says TSR West's creative director, Flint Dille. Players can even help clean up the world in which they role-play. "Buck displays an environmentalist approach from the darkest side," says Dille.