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We’re delighted to present a much-anticipated and uniquely thematic fourth installment of our Internet Archaeology series, having surfed the net tirelessly since the last.


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  • We recommend you dial this here number - (270) 301-5797 - on your phone or computer device, and drift through a nested telephonic guide of bewitching places and half-remembered tones: Here and There Along the Echo (A Guide to the Echo River for Drifters and Pilgrims).

    – Cardboard Computer [@]

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  • Further spelunking in the space between the virtual and real Kentucky can be found in this examination of Will Crowther’s seminal mid-1970’s text adventure Colossal Cave Adventure.

    – Dennis G. Jerz, Digital Humanities Quarterly [@]


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  • Three pieces on the popular city-building game SimCity (1989–):
    • An interview by VENUE with the lead designer of 2013’s SimCity reveals how its models of urban planning and agent-driven simulation produce the game’s range of possible urban forms.

      VENUE [@]

    • Ava Kofman argues in Jacobin that SimCity’s representation of urbanism reflects a dangerous framework for design currently practiced in the real-world.

      – Ava Kofman, Jacobin [@]

    • A new book detailed in Motherboard collects forum posts by players seeking to eliminate the possible ‘bug’ causing homelessness in their virtual cities.

      – Emanuel Maiberg, Motherboard [@]

    • Plus this unbelievable documentation of a 6 million sim mega-city, appropriately titled: MAGNASANTI - 6 MILLION - ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM.flv.

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  • In 2002, the US played a $250 million war game to test new military doctrine in anticipation of the invasion of Iraq. Though America was officially reported as the winner, the actual result of the game was an alarming precursor to an almost 9-year war.

    – Julian Borger, The Guardian [@]

  • Curious how a war game is designed and played? See The Complete War Games Handbook, or try this 20-minute game “So Long Sucker” (playable with your friends!) created by some of the preeminent game theorists John Nash, Lloyd Shapley et al.
  • In the courtyard of the CIA headquarters, sitting among some of the world’s top cryptographic minds, one section of a puzzling coded sculpture has remained unsolved for decades. An obsessed game developer has been leading a group to uncover its secrets.

    – Christian Donlan, Eurogamer

  • Civ players hate him! How one weird bug made Gandhi go nuclear.

    – Luke Plunkett, Kotaku [@]

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  • Two fascinating and accidental histories: how an Austronesian spiritual force became the common video-game mechanic known as mana, plus a history of glitches.

    – Alex Golub, The Appendix / Alex Pieschel, The Arcade Review [@]

  • Finally, a few of our favorite recent tumblrs, focusing on the art of games:

And remember…

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Cover: Screenshot from Dwarf Fortress (2006), taken by Bhelyr.

Additional Images:

  • Q-bert advertisement (multi-platform, 1982)
  • Kentucky Route Zero (PC/Mac/Linux, 2013-)
  • SimCity 2000 (multi-platform, 1993)
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  • Neuromancer (DOS, 1988)
  • Proteus (multi-platform, 2013)