Make your computer 35 years older

In the summer of 1983 my friends and I became addicted to a role playing computer game called Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. It was a lot like Dungeons and Dragons, and had very primitive wireframe graphics to represent a multi-level underground maze filled with orcs, zombie kobolds, bushwhackers, bleebs, bubbly slimes, and many other monsters. We started playing at 9pm every night, drinking beer and sitting around a monochrome PC until 3 in the morning, sleeping for a few hours before going to our summer jobs (installing a sprinkler system for a new golf course) and starting over again the next day. It took us all summer to complete the game. Recently I told my 14-year-old daughter about Wizardry and she wanted to try it. It’s no longer for sale, but the files are available online if you search for them (I don’t know if it’s legal for these sites to give away the files, so I’m not going to link to them here.) In order to play Wizardry on my Mac laptop, I had to download a DOS operating system emulator called DOSBox. It turns my 2017 laptop into a 1983 PC. It’s free and works like a charm. My daughter and I are now playing Wizardry almost every night. No beer this time around, and we call it quits at 10pm, but it’s still thrilling to make the hand drawn maps as we crawl our way through the monster- and trap-filled dungeon. — MF

PlayClaudia Dawson