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Museum hopes to resurrect Habitat, 'world's first MMO'


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So here's a bizarre little piece of MMO news for your Friday morning: This weekend, with the help of Kixeye and Fujitsu, a volunteer-driven, public museum in Oakland, California, hopes to relaunch an antique Lucasfilm game called Habitat, which it's calling the world's first massively multiplayer online game (that part is probably debatable, but let's hear them out).
"The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (The MADE) will be spending Sunday, September 28th, attempting to resurrect the world's first massively multiplayer online game, Habitat. The project seeks to relaunch the Habitat server on original Stratus Technologies hardware from 1989, and to allow users on the Internet to connect to the game server for free using a Commodore 64 emulator. The MADE is the first videogame museum to attempt such a relaunch. In fact, there has never been an attempt to relaunch a 28 year old, dead MMO before, primarily because MMO's are mostly a phenomenon that has existed only over the last 15 years."
According to Wikipedia's curators, Habitat was created in 1985 as the "first attempt at a large-scale commercial virtual community that was graphically based" and is "considered a forerunner of the modern MMORPGs." MADE even claims the game invented the term "Avatar" for use in online games. The 1989-era server hardware it'll run on can today support 10,000 users, says the museum.

Massively's very own Game Archaeologist, Justin Olivetti, investigated Habitat's history in a two-part series in 2012.
The Game Archaeologist moves into Lucasfilm's Habitat: Part 1
The Game Archaeologist moves into Lucasfilm's Habitat: Part 2

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