Oakland Video Game Museum Resurrecting First MMO “Habitat”
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.
As the first MMO, Habitat invented a lot of the terms used today, such as Avatar. The game was hosted on the Quantum Link service, which eventually became America Online. Other companies involved in our Habitat resurrection project include Fujitsu, which owns the rights to the game, KIXEYE, the leader in online and mobile combat strategy games, which is sponsoring the effort, and Stratus Technologies, which donated the vintage server.
Habitat will remain online and playable, provided the hackathon to bring it online on September 28th is successful. Given a successful relaunch, Habitat will remain online until we are able to replace it with a modern code base and modern server hardware. More information about the technical efforts involved in this work are online at:
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