Continuous Play is back after a bit of a pause but we are excited to bring you news about the University of Texas Videogame Archive (UTVA), which seeks to preserve and make available to researchers records documenting videogame history from developer, critic, artist, publisher, gamer and designer perspectives.
This update is a timely one and gives us the chance to talk about one of our newer collections given to us by Gary Slanga. Twenty years and two weeks ago saw the advent of a unique and revolutionary real-time strategy game (RTS). A game which helped to spawn multiple intellectual properties (IPs) and pushed a fledgling videogame development company into the limelight. I speak, of course, about Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Blizzard Entertainment. The Slanga (Gary) Videogame Collection, contains not only a copy of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and its manual but a preview of Blizzard Entertainment’s future titles Starcraft and Diablo.
It is hard to believe twenty years have passed since the release of this game. In that time, itseffect on video games has been quite substantial. Warcraft changed the way RTS games handled multiplayer modes, created a world filled with lore that would spawn multiple sequels and a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), and paved the way for the Starcraft RTS franchise.
The Spector (Warren) Papers show the development of Ion Storm games and the Deus Ex franchise. A Guide to the Taylor Brown Videogame Collection presents videogame history through the perspectives of both gamer and producer. Brown’s gaming materials date from the 1980s and materials document his work at NCSoft date from the early 2000s. The rise and development of videogame production companies like NCSoft, Ion Storm Games, and Blizzard Entertainment is represented in each of the collections previously mentioned.
Each of the UTVA collections and the history and information they contain provide valuable insight into the world of game development. And for The Slanga (Gary) Collection the materials do not just document the beginnings of a developer, they represent the emergence of the RTS and the beginnings of the world of Azeroth.
Happy 20th Anniversary to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Happy 10th Anniversary to World of Warcraft!
Be sure to check back in for more highlights from the University of Texas Videogame Archive.