I'm trying to write a thing about the back and forth history of control over hardware, software, and data, and I stumbled upon this:

The company that became AOL was originally founded as a pay-to-play game company using dialup on the Atari 2600. (They tried to do the same with music, but Warner Brothers was not interested. Ha!)

I honestly didn't know that assholery about software ownership went back that far, but I should have.


@readsteven It sure takes a bold vision to even try and connect a 2600 with a modem.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but I don't think it's a wise choice.


@tsturm Membership included a $60 modem/cartridge combo. (1200 baud even! Pretty good for 1984!)

That, plus $15 a month + $1 per game got you ... a dozen plays? If you powered down the console you lost the game.

The service seems to have lasted less than a year.

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