Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


In this age of digital media and Internet deliverables, the idea that 20 years ago people were shelling out $30 to $50 for a 5¼" floppy disk in a cardboard box must seem bizarre and incomprehensible.

Software today tends to come with little more than a disc and a "quick install guide"—often there won't even be a CD jewel case, and sometimes the only thing you get is a file downloaded from the Internet. Yet in those halcyon golden days, things were very, very different. The absolute minimum you could expect with a game was a printed manual, often a thick tome containing instructions, backstory, and even hints.

More than that, if you were buying a game from one of the really notable production houses, you got what are known as "feelies". These were real, tangible props, ripped straight from the game world. They were often incorporated into the game's Copy Protection mechanism to make it a little less jarring. Such things are almost entirely in the past now.