Joined: 08 Apr 2006 Posts: 10672 Location: Fort Collins, CO
Link Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:56 pm Post subject:
I didn't know him myself -- he was 7 years older than me so he left the college-focused PLATO world before I got there -- but he was a close friend and collaborator with my best buddy. We were at Iowa State and Silas was at Indiana U, so I think John (my friend) and Silas only met IRL once or twice. But they did a lot of brainstorming and development together. This was in the early/mid 70's but PLATO had communication facilities (email, realtime chat, shared screens, etc) that were 10-20 years ahead of any other system. It was fairly common to collaborate on a project with somebody across the country. Now that's the norm, but 40+ years ago it was unheard-of.
By the time I came on the scene, Silas had graduated and dropped out of the PLATO world so I never interacted with him. But that article sounds pretty accurate from what I heard of him.
That article mentions that Silas helped make a game called Empire. He and my friend John wrote the first rudimentary versions in the 73-74 period, then a couple of others got involved in the 75-76 period. John passed the mantle on to a friend and me when he graduated. We totally revamped and rewrote it, and it became the most popular thing on PLATO for a few years. That's the game I've mentioned before.
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