The crazy spread of the “drug war”, from your calculator to your mobile phone


it is The sixth issue in the late 1990s. You sit in the back of the classroom, hardly hearing the buzzing Algebra II class, while fiddling with the TI-82 graphing calculator issued by the school. The only math you really learn is that cocaine is more expensive than acid, and heroin can be quite profitable on Coney Island.

Before everyone had a mobile phone, millions of teenagers across the country found Drug war, A simple game about buying and selling drugs in the boroughs of New York City, while avoiding police officer Hadas (yes, that’s his name) and his deputy, robbers, or anything else trying to prevent you from supplying chemical to hungry customers. Product people. You have 30 days to buy low and sell high to earn as much cash as possible, or at least enough to repay loan sharks.

next year Drug war Will be over 40 years old.During that time, it has evolved from DOS games to calculator games, web browser games, and more recently smartphone apps, sometimes called Drug war instead.

“The number of portings of the game still surprises me,” John E. Dell, the original author of the game, said in an interview with WIRED.

Dell wrote the first version Drug war Take his second-year computer class at TRS-80. He said that he recently played a game at a friend’s house that involved buying and selling goods at fluctuating prices.Dale said he didn’t remember which game it was, but it was probably Giant. He decided to adapt this game style into products including ludes, speed, marijuana, acid, heroin and cocaine games.

Dell’s teacher reluctantly gave his homework an A.

Dale said: “I clearly remember that he posted a frowning face on the paper.” “He didn’t like the subject.”

Dell later rewrote the game in DOS and uploaded it to the bulletin board system (BBS), which was how computer users communicated, shared files, or played games online in the 1980s.

After graduating from high school, Dell forgot about games and entered the U.S. Naval Academy, studying computer science when he began his military career.

Drug war As it was reprogrammed as a true BBS game, it continued to evolve. It also works with early Windows versions, but this was in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when computers were usually reserved for the rich and/or nerds.

Drug war When it appeared on the TI-82 graphing calculator, it really became popular (before the term was used to describe anything other than pathogens)-in the 1990s and 2000s, in any high school advanced math class Both can find the same equipment.

Rewritten by Jonathan Meyer Drug war On his graphing calculator in 1993. Maier, then a sophomore in high school, shared the game with his friends using a homemade cable, which allowed him to connect his graphing calculator to his computer. From there it spread among his friends and then spread throughout the school.

Meyer said in an email: “When I walked through the math classroom and saw the teacher playing alone on the device that displays the calculator screen on the overhead projector, I knew it was very popular.”

Maier explained that he was attracted to this game like many of his peers, because drug content was banned at the time. Even the most casual players can easily master the simplicity of the game, which does no harm.

“All the credit should be attributed to the original programmer who conceived the first excellent game design in the DOS version,” Maier said of Dell. “I transplanted some other things, and even made some games myself, but none of them felt viral.”

Maier is a mechanical engineering student at Georgia Institute of Technology. At that time, he learned that one of his former high school classmates had adjusted his original program, added his name to it, and uploaded it to a late-existing one. Original file sharing site. The 1990s.

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