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The history of RPGs | PC Gamer

Computers and RPGs have always gone hand-in-hand. Even when the best adventurers could hope for visually was a few letters and numbers on a screen, what better way could there be to handle stats, die-rolls and complex calculations? Soon enough, though, computer RPGs were capable of doing much more. 

The original PC RPGs—such as MUDs, or multi-user dungeons—appeared in the mid-70s. These weren’t for home computers, but mainframes, typically found in universities. They tended to be based on either Dungeons & Dragons, which itself launched in 1974, or be variously disguised takes on Tolkien. These included Dungeon, DND, Orthanc, and Oubliette. A few, such as Oubliette, had simple graphics, though most started out as just text or used ASCII’s standard set of text-mode graphics. 

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