Gamers of my generation may remember Activision's Alter Ego, released in 1986. It was a text-and-graphics, choice-based somewhat-precusor to later games like The Sims or Second Life. The game fascinated me, even as a 13-year-old, with the idea of living another life — and helping to create such a rich narrative — or just living that far forward. I feel like I actually have memories of the virtual lives I led in the game:
• As a toddler, gorging on a can of aerosol whipping cream and throwing up.
• As a young man, my girlfriend posing for "Genthouse" Magazine (for the record, I was cool with it. We married.)
• Playing in an old-timer's baseball game as a senior citizen, going back for a long fly ball, collapsing to the ground and dying peacefully as my friends gathered.
Well, here's a site where you can play Alter Ego online. It's been up since 2005, so probably some of you have stumbled onto this before. I scoured Kotaku to make sure we haven't featured it yet. It was truly a beautiful and well written game, created by Dr. Peter Favaro, and worth a look anyway. If you played it when you were younger, looking forward to life as an adult, now you can play it when you're older, to relive simpler days.
Alter Ego [theblackforge.net]