1972 was a very boring year. I Googled it and it was utterly depressing. The free spirit of the 60‟s was coming to an end, calculators were $150, and I wasn’t born yet. It was simply a very bad year. Luckily, in 1973, NASA decided to take a break from the unimportant work of space exploration, and created the first peer-to-peer game, Maze War. Unfortunately, Maze War suffered from the Rule of the First, and much to the dismay of NASA scientists they were forced to go back to the tedious work of exploring the unknown universe. Getting back to the Rule of the First, I’m not sure if such a rule actually exists because I just made it up, but it goes like this, the first of everything stinks. However, the Rule of the First has one plus, anything abiding by it inevitably gets to be used as an opener in articles to lead the reader comfortably to the subject of the history of whatever is abiding by the Rule of the First. This leads us comfortably to the history of network gaming.

Network gaming began with Maze War, and while I already mentioned that it stunk, what I didn’t mention was that it had one big success. It was the first game to be played through a peer-to-peer network. Many people stupidly think that peer-to-peer networking was created by Shawn Fanning for Napster in 1999, well, maybe not many people, but I certainly did. Does this make me an idiot? The
answer is yes, but I try very hard not to be an idiot, and occasionally I’ve had some success.

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