Talk:Avatar (1979 video game)

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Where can you play?[edit]

how do you join the big online avatar game?


Depends on which version you want to join. Really this article needs a discussion of the roots of the game, the different versions which are significant (think Avatar 90 - this discusses an earlier version mostly), CERL/NOVANET, and historicity/ground breaking nature of the early versions. Avatar is more important to gaming history than most people realize, I believe.

-Ian Baron —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

-created headline "Where can you play?" for readability altho probably irrelevant now that the article mentions cyber1 and novanet. --RainmanCT (talk) 18:29, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:888282-5220.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:888282-5220.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 19:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

"Out-do Oubliette" Misconception, Motivation, Dates[edit]

Hi - Andrew Shapira here.

I want to correct a misconception that seems to be spreading. My motivation for working on Avatar didn't have much to do with outdoing the authors of Oubliette. I was aware of Oubliette, liked playing it occasionally during a period of a year or three, and wanted to create something better than Oubliette, but that was only one of a large number of things motivating me. I suspect it was the same with Bruce and Dave. As for myself, I liked working on Avatar, and liked creating something that I thought was good. There was a feeling of struggling toward the ideal game of its type (which is not achievable). I also liked what I was learning over time as I worked on the game. Getting the game to be playable on PLATO was challenging, especially with respect to speed, memory limits, disk space limits, and game balance; I sometimes liked working on these challenges and enjoyed it when we found good solutions.

Also, the History section says that 'students' wrote Avatar, perhaps bringing to mind college students because so much PLATO activity occured at or near the University of Illinois, but Bruce, Dave, and I were high school students or junior high students when we started the first version(s) of Avatar. Bruce and I graduated from high school in 1981. I believe, but am not completely sure, that Dave graduated from high school in 1980.

Someone ought to check the dates in the History section to make sure that they are correct, and consistent with the ones in the introduction. I think we started Avatar in 1977 and released it in 1979, but I would have to go back and double-check that, so this paragraph should not be taken as my claiming that those are the real dates. Many features never made it into the initial release. At one time, maybe around 1978, there was a motel where characters could check in and produce a child whose traits were derived from the parents'; I do not think this was ever present in any released version.

I'd correct the main article, but I'm not sure how to do it in a properly referenced way. Someone can contact me by email about that if they wish.

- Andrew —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi there, the only authoritative source the article currently has is Richard Bartle's Designing virtual worlds. Finding proper sources is the biggest issue here. If you know any reliable primary and secondary sources feel free to post links or relevant information and I (or someone else) will have a look at it. --Scandum (talk) 19:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi - if one of the authors of the game (me) is not a reliable reliable source, I don't know what is. - Andrew —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:36, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Ironic. Richard Bartle, source of multiple erroneous quotes about early dungeon games is accepted as a definitive source over one of the actual game authors. Suggest we either remove the reference to "outdoing oubliette" or remove the citation entirely. Feedback is welcome. --RainmanCT (talk) 19:05, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of removing the reference to "outdoing Oubliette." I can't speak for what's in the citation because I have not read it, but if it says that our goal was to outdo Oubliette, then maybe the citation ought to be removed from this article, as I discussed above. - Andrew 19Aug09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:45, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Out-doing Oubliette was not a specific goal that I remember at all, although the environment did encourage friendly competition between the games of the same style and Avatar came after Oubliette (Collapsar) and built on it. I was briefly a game operator for Oubliette and have fond memories of Jim Schwaiger's unique style. The release of Avatar in 1979 sounds right to me. (I graduated high school in 1978, but I'll take the extra couple of years of youth!) Much of the "finished" game (help lesson, stats lesson) came together by 1983/1984 as part of the publication process at Control Data. - David Sides —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 28 December 2010 (UTC)


"Avatar is a text-based & graphics-based multi-user highly interactive role-playing computer game" - Aside from the fact that this intro has four hyphenations, I'd like to get consensus to remove "text-based". I'm not sure how anything can be both text-based and graphics-based (it's one or the other!) and it is certainly different from what is classically considered text-based, such as, for example "Adventl" or "Gemstone". RainmanCT (talk) 12:36, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Suggested additions[edit]

- Stud rooms
- Ultra-stud encounters
- Room types (pit, chute, rotator, extinguisher, etc.)
--RainmanCT (talk) 18:29, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
- Links to Cyber1, NovaNET, etc. are dead ends
—Preceding unsigned comment added by BFWB (talkcontribs) 14:29, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


Propose removing this link pending some serious improvements. There's really no point in directing people there are this time since the game is unplayable. I'll remove it unless I hear reasoned objection. Comments? RainmanCT (talk) 14:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

It really isn't tied to Avatar on PLATO so agree it's not appropriate for this article. -David Sides SidesWays 12 May 2011

Who's PLATO was that?[edit]

The intro section describes Avatar as having been “created on the University of Illinois' Control Data Corporation PLATO system”. I suspect that the casual reader, unfamiliar with the history of PLATO, will assume that Control Data Corporation made a product called PLATO, and that the University of Illinois bought one of them. I'd like to make it clear that Avatar was developed on the PLATO system, the original (CERL) research system, and leave the CDC reference for anyone who wants to follow the PLATO (computer system) link. Any objections to that change? (talk) 02:32, 8 May 2014 (UTC)


from what I remember, Avatar had a graphic representation of the dungeon map, with what ever you had encountered showing near the quasi 3D map display.

there were icons for different items. The text portion of it was the display of damage you were doing, damage you were taking. and messages you were sending and receiving from other players. Oddly enough, games such as EverQuest also use that basic mechanic.

I do remember teleporting around a dungeon, n miss-keying a coordinate. I have associations of that event and Quiet Riot... Cum on feel the noize, girls ROCK your boys...

I remember playing both Oubliette and Avatar. I remember spending hours n hours doing the degenerating character roller of oubliette. I remember Avatar character generation being MUCH faster.

I also remember when Avatar had a financial crisis, n offering players permanent character slots if they bought a Part of server storage toward the fairly large needs of the game code storage.

And I hope you're dong well, Andrew! — Preceding unsigned comment added by B.ries2 (talkcontribs) 05:58, 10 March 2016 (UTC)