Back in 1996, when the term “massively multiplayer” was still being ridiculed as a crime against language, there was a game called Meridian 59.
Depending which source you choose to trust, Meridian 59 may be the first ever MMO. It’s undoubtedly a very early example of the familiar MMO model.
Now it’s completely free to play, and being run on a non-profit basis after unfortunately-named developer Near Death Studios closed its doors.
Interested parties can download the installerand get on with harassing blacksmiths, stalking ogres and slapping wizards. Or something like that.
The main site also links to a lengthy history of the game, which could be helpful for people who haven’t ever played it but who still want to sound vaguely knowledgeable. Like me.
Meridian 59 is unlikely to lure people away from their World of Warcraft accounts, but it’s always interesting to see a piece of gaming history opened up for public viewing.