Video: Raph Koster recounts a history of virtual worlds, from MUDS to MMOs

Speaking at GDC 2016, online game industry veteran Raph Koster briefly recounts how virtual worlds have evolved from multi-user dungeon games through to World of Warcraft -- and why you should care.

Game developers work and play in virtual worlds, so it's worth taking time to understand where they came from -- and where they're headed.

That's exactly what online game industry veteran Raph Koster spoke to briefly at GDC earlier this year, when he took the stage to briefly recount how virtual worlds had evolved from text-based multi-user dungeon (MUD) games in the late '70s through to Ultima OnlineSecond Life and World of Warcraft.

Koster's talk was informative, insightful, and brief: he was, after all, joining a cast of game industry luminaries speaking as part of a special "Flash Backward: 30 Years of Making Games" session that was presented to commemorate the 30th edition of GDC.

His talk shined a light on all the ways virtual worlds have shaped the game industry we know today, and where they're headed with the advent of mainstream virtual reality hardware. If you missed it in person, you can now watch Koster's specific segment completely free over on the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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