BBS doors: innovative social games?

I came across a fantastic essay written by Andrew Chen in 2009: BBS door games: Social gaming innovation from the 1980s

He makes the case that BBS door games pioneered many techniques used today by social games. I think he’s right on, especially in this passage:

“You may notice from all of these screenshots that these games are very, very basic. Many of my friends at the time criticized the simplicity of the gameplay, only to be sucked in for social reasons 🙂 Similar to the current incarnation of social gaming, the emphasis is not on graphics. The primary advantages of a persistent, continually updated world with social gameplay far outweighed the fact that downloadable single player games had much better graphics. … If there’s one thing to be learned from the BBS games and their related cousins, MUDs, [it] is that great social interactions can trump pretty much everything else.”

Share your thoughts!