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I found the Wumpus

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...and I shot it. (see attached)





Found the elusive November 1973 (Vol 2 No 2) issue of the People's Computer Company (PCC) tabloid. This issue was the first appearance of the ugly mean dangerous Wumpus, who became one of the first popular hits of computer games well before Zork etc.


Digging a little deeper, I see that there are some misconceptions about this. The wikipedia page says it was the previous issue where it was first published, but I have that issue also and it was not published in Vol 2 No 1. Secondly, the game code was not introduced at this point in 1973, only the game description and a "sample run". It was common for PCC to first introduce a game description/idea/art in one issue, and then release the code listing in a later issue. My guess is PCC had just received the software from Gregory Yob and were eager to publish something about it. The story goes that it gained popularity quickly. I believe the code was finally released in a January 1975 PCC issue, which I do not have in my possession to verify. PCC made available all such games via mail order, as you can see in the second attachment here which appears on page 22 (Wumpus is page 23 which is also the last page). PCC game code listings were free via SASE (because PCC was awesome), or you could buy the Wumpus tape for $4 (not a magnetic tape but paper tape!).


This appears to be the only known copy of this magazine issue, not even the Stanford archives seem to have it? A beautiful thing. In 1973 PCC had been releasing a series of similar games called Caves (Caves1, Caves2, Public Caves, etc) not to mention Mugwump, and I like how these caves evolved into the natural habitat of Wump creatures.


Steven Read


Edited by junksave
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