Saturday, April 06, 2024

Back In 1999

In my sidebar, I state that I have been providing free RPG materials since 1995. This is misleading. The first RPG that I created, that I still have physical evidence of, was created in 1995. My first game on the web was Xerospace in 1999. Freespace was written in 1995 and lays the foundation that Xerospace is based on, but it wasn't shared on the web. 

Back in 1999, I was using a free dial-up web service called "Net-Zero" as an alternative to AoL. AoL or America Online was the most popular internet service provider available to the general public. I think it cost like $20 bucks a month, and that was too much money for me back then. Net-Zero was free, but came with a lot of advertising. 

Both Net-Zero and AoL used a dial-up connection that utilized a phone call to connect people to the internet. You weren't connected all the time and most households only had one phone. So you had to wait your turn if you wanted to use the internet at the same time as someone else in your house.  

I found a free (read: ad driven) site to give me a little bit of internet real estate to create my own website ( and I had my first home on the internet. This is how I shared my first PDF RPG: Xerospace. (I did try to find remnants of my old site using the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, but sadly it's not there.) 

I probably wouldn't have thought to begin such a weird journey, if it wasn't for a thing called, The Free RPG Webring. This was a collection of websites that all hosted or shared links to free RPG rules documents. One such site was Unclebear shared a link to my free RPG site. So, others were exposed to my work. was run by a fellow by the name of Berin Kinsman. Man, I loved reading his site. Uncle Bear got me started on this journey. He reviewed games, talked about games, and created games. His writing was engaging, and he introduced me to what talking about the hobby, that you love, on the internet, should look like. 

Berin Kinsman is still around. He has a blog HERE. I recommend it highly. His publishing arm, called Lightspress Media, offers all of his RPG creations. These are broken up into small, clean, text only books that are all only $5. His dedication to keeping the RPG hobby affordable and accessible, still standing tall, front and center.

I credit Mr. Kinsman for my start on this journey, but I am certain that he has no idea who I am. That said, Mr. Kinsman, for what it's worth, "Thank You."

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mr. Kinsman! You gave my husband's amazing creativity an outlet that is still bringing him joy almost 30 years later.