What Was the First Networked Computer Game?
Today we take networked games of all stripes–First Person Shooters, Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, and more–for granted. Back in the early 1970s, however, players had yet to enjoy the experience of a networked game where where one player could interact with multiple other players.
That changed with the 1974 introduction of Mazewar, a ground-breaking game on many fronts. Mazewar was the first game where, however crudely, a virtual world was created with simple line-based graphics for a player to roam around. Mazewar was also the first networked computer game. Players at different terminals could navigate the maze using simple directional commands and shoot other players, each represented by a floating eyeball, to gain points. In addition two these two monumental firsts, it also introduced the First Person 3D perspective, avatars, level editing, and an observer mode (the 1977 version of the game introduced the ability for non-players to move about the maze and observe the games).