Richard Bartle was probably the individual responsible for more of my college hours spent gaming than any other single game designer. He is perhaps best known as the co-creator of MUD, precursor to the modern MMOG. But MUDis not the game that devoured my free time. The game was Spellcaster, also known as Waving Hands.
Developed in 1977, according to Wikipedia, (though I didn't encounter it until 16 years later), Spellcaster represents a magic duel between wizards. The objective is to reduce your opponent to zero life points. Keep in mind, this was before Magic: the Gathering popularized this kind of activity.
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