Play by mail game

From Academic Kids

Play by mail games are games, of any type, played through postal mail or e-mail. One example, chess, has been played by mail for centuries (when played in this way, it is known as correspondence chess). Another example, Diplomacy, has been played by mail since the 1960s, starting with a printed newsletter (a fanzine) written by John Boardman. More complex wargames, moderated by computer programs, were pioneered by Rick Loomis and his company, Flying Buffalo Games.

Play by mail games are often referred to as PBM games, and play by email is sometimes abbreviated PBeM -- as opposed to face to face (FTF) games which are played in person.

See also Play-by-post gaming

Postal gaming

Postal gaming developed as a way for geographically separated gamers to compete with each other. It was especially useful for those living in isolated areas and those whose tastes in games was uncommon.

In the case of a two player game such as chess, players would simply send their moves to each other alternately.

In the case of a multi-player game such as Diplomacy, a central game master would run the game, receiving the moves and publishing adjudications. Such adjudications were often published in postal game zines, some of which contained far more than just games.

Internet play-by-mail

With the rise of the Internet, postal gaming and postal games zines have largely been replaced by email and websites. Play by mail games differ from popular online multiplayer games in that, for most computerized multiplayer games, the players have to be online at the same time. With a play by mail game, the players can play whenever they choose. Some computer games can be played in a play by mail mode: you make your "move", mail a file to your opponent, who makes his "move", and mails something back. A popular and well known play by eMail game is Atlantis PbeM. Thomas Harlan's alternate history PBEM game, Lords of the Earth has been running continuously for 20 years.

E-Mail Games is a site that offers free wargaming by e-mail.

External links

de:Postspiel fr:Jeu par courriel ja:プレイバイメール ru:PBEM


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