Conference proceedings talk, International Meeting of the Pop Culture Association, Washington D.C.
Software development and computational power have developed and changed so quickly that much of the research surrounding it are reactions, a result of the computer reaching out. The consequences of this constant change are that historic contexts, including the ability to understand the code and procedure of the time is often lost to newer, more efficient, yet incompatible technologies. This project will approach software preservation beyond archival purposes. We will evaluate the code these programmers in concurrence with the human activity those coders were seeking to translate: the tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). A team of historians, computer scientists, humanists, and enthusiasts will work to develop a method that simultaneously examines the code of five early video games: dnd, pedit5, moria, Oubliette, Adventure, and Beneath Apple Manor. The result will be a procedural examination of some of the earliest video games created by some of the earliest students of programming, their difficulties, and procedural decisions, some of which are in use to this day.