Maze War

Maze War (Imlac PDS-1)   1973


First 3D first-person shooter, first online multiplayer game, first deathmatch, first full screen 3D game, first online ingame chat


Silent, monochrome game.

Gameplay video

Imlac PDS-1 computer
Imlac PDS-1 computer

1) Initially programmed for an Imlac PDS-1 mainframe, linked together in an ethernet, it was later playable over ARPANET (network that became the basis for the Internet). Each player in the game is shown a first person 3D wireframe maze and a top down view of that same maze (showing only the player's current position). Players must try to find opponents and shoot them. Players can peek around corners to see what is there without being spotted themselves.

2) First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre centered on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through a first-person perspective; that is, the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist. The first-person shooter shares common traits with other shooter games, which in turn fall under the heading action game. (For more, watch Phantom Slayer (1982) and MIDI Maze (1987).

3) A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication. In multiplayer games, players may compete against two (or more) human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity or e), co-op and objective-based modes assaulting (or defending) a control point. Multiplayer games typically require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance. (First 2 player game was Tennis for Two (1958).

4) Deathmatch  is a widely used gameplay mode integrated into many shooter and real-time strategy (RTS) video games. Normally the goal of a deathmatch game is to kill (or "frag", from the military term) as many other players as possible until a certain condition or limit is reached, commonly being a frag limit or time limit. Once one of these conditions is met, the match is over and the winner is the player that accumulated the greatest number of frags.

5) Players can peek around the corners to see what is there without being spotted themselves.

6) Game also available on Xerox Alto computer.

7) First primitive representation of 3D game graphics (The Sword of Damocles was the first AR device to use 3D graphics).

8) Game is not emulated.

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