Here are the factual errors/ommissions I've made in the book, as opposed to the typographical errors that merely demonstrate I can't type...


Happily setting the record straight since 2003.

Chapter 1, page 7
Eddy Carroll (a player of virtual worlds from the days of MUD1) has dug out a review of AMP that he wrote for his Amiga BBS, Infomatique, back in the 1980s. It opens with:

AMP stands for Adventure for Multiple Players. It was written by Mike Blandford, on his home-built MC68000-based EMAIL system

I'm glad to be able to be able to credit Mike with AMP at long last!

Chapter 1, pages 13-14
Scott Hartsman (Technical Director at Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego, who worked on Sceptre of Goth) has written to correct the assertion I make that GemStone ][ was not influenced by SoG. Five of the people who worked on SoG, including Scott, were snapped up after its demise to work on GS2. Although SoG was hard-coded, GS2 had a game engine; the ex-SoG developers were employed to write content for GS2 using this engine. Thus, it's unfair to say that SoG had no influence on GS2; rather, GS2's "parentage" (in the sense of artistic influence - no code was used) is SoG and the original GemStone.

Arising from Scott's information, I have also heard from Elonka Dunin, official Sumutronics Historian, about the relationship between GemStone and GemStone II. She writes: "The first GemStone was a prototype written by David Whatley. David already had a name for himself in the online genre, as he had created a very popular BBS system called the Fantasy RolePlaying BBS. The first GemStone ran on an Amiga desktop computer back when Simutronics was negotiating a deal with GEnie under Simutronics' pre-incorporation name Crystal Blade. When a contract was signed to provide the GemStone game on GEnie, it was clear that the game would need to be substantially rewritten in order to run on GEnie's Mark III mainframes, and so David rewrote it as GemStone ][, which was the first commercial incarnation. Soon after GemStone ][ launched, work began on a version which was even better suited to the Mark III system, GemStone III, which opened for beta on December 1st, 1989. The game system for GemStone III was based on the Iron Crown Enterprises Rolemaster tabletop rules."

Elonka also points out that what I referred to as "Gemstone" should actually be "GemStone". The second version was "GemStone ][" (rather than "Gemstone II"); Roman numerals were used for the third and fourth versions. She has some other corrections to make, too:

Elonka further mentions that David Whatley had heard of SoG and IOK when he wrote the original GemStone, which means that my assertions on pages 14 and 34 that it was created independently of the virtual world meme are incorrect.

Chapter 1, pages 23-25
Brian 'Psychochild' Green (who worked on Meridian 59 for the two years up to its death and was one of the people behind its resurrection) has written to correct the impression I give that EverQuest's launch was responsible for dealing the death blow to M59. Brian notes that the fatal damage was done well before then by severe mis-management of the project. Even the earlier Ultima Online launch at worst merely hastened what was by then inevitable. Brian also has a new URL for M59, the snappy that somehow eluded the previous owners of M59...

Note: this error arose because I misunderstood one of Damion Schubert's comments on the book's first draft. With hindsight, I'm now embarrassed that I could read "Everquest was not responsible for the decline. It was the last nail in the coffin." any other way..!

Chapter 4, page 327
Warren Dew points out that C++ does have multiple inheritance, although it needs (ironically) a virtual keyword to be of use. <Groan> I've been labouring under this misapprehension for years...


Elsewhere on this site:

Copyright © Richard A. Bartle (
17th July, 2003.