A new article about the astonishing, though diminished, longevity of 1996's Meridian 59 has cropped up in a most unusual place: New Yorker magazine. The article talks to several of the handful of players who continue to doggedly play the game, those who have grown to adulthood playing the original MMO.
Meridian 59’s lingering population has kept playing not only out of social obligation but out of grim necessity. “You couldn’t quit, really,” Matt Dymerski, an author from Ohio, and one of the game’s best-known residents, said. “The game needed you. All your friends needed you. If you didn’t show up, the game would die.” Some nefarious players occasionally attempted to force the game’s population to quit the game, in order to cause a type of virtual Armageddon. “This actually happened four or five times in the game’s ongoing life span,” Dymerski recalled. “Each defeat generally required a huge update or change of ownership to draw the population back.”
Read the full Meridian 59 article, along with the news the team wants to bring the game to Steam, over at New Yorker magazine.