Internet had expanded much beyond University borders, I tried to
explain what it could be like for gamers in an article to The GENERAL.
It was turned down - twice. |
That doesn't happen to me very often. But in all fairness, it was an
article query, not the article. And it was 1986 or 1987. Online meant
CompuServe or a small handful of other services. None of them had a
graphical interface - all were text only.
Don Greenwood was very interested, but Rex Martin was pretty cool
toward it, and turned it down. Flat. (I still have the rejection
letter around here somewhere, since Don was very excited about it, and
Rex was so uninterested.)
I sold a bunch of other things to other places - but the idea
would not let go.
Finally, I wrote it as an Advanced Squad Leader piece, and sent it to
a new ASL magazine, "At The Point," by Marc Hanna. He was happy to
have it, but had been crushed by articles, so it would be most of a
year before he got it out. No problem. It had already been years since
I'd pitched the original version.
It finally saw daylight in issue ATP issue 5. A few days later, Marc
sent me an email: "I thought Rex turned this down." He did, I assured
him. "Well, he wants it now!" And Rex promptly bought it.
Avalon Hill finally published "In the Game Room, All Alone: The Case for PBEM"
in The GENERAL Vol. 27, Issue 5. I think that was 1991 or 1992?
Somewhere in there.
It was a huge hit, and gamers flocked to GEnie and CompuServe, and
shortly, the ASL mailing list.
The moral of the story? I seem to be 5 years too soon on every big
and ten minutes too late on everything that I vitally need to get done!