PC Clan Leaders of the 90’s were way ahead of their time

90s Gaming Clan Leaders - Mplayer

“As recently as the 1990’s, only about 20% of professional work was team-based. Now it’s 80%.” – Korn Ferry

Imagine 1996:

  • No Smartphones
  • Email adoption was low
  • 28.8 kbs dial-up modems

And here were people coordinating disparate teams building and executing a strategy, managing operations, and promoting.  Fairly similar to a corporation who utilizes a number of associates to help handle juggling of these tasks.  But yet you would often find this entire workload handled by a young kid with limited resources.

All within a video game, it was like that meme: we are all in 1996 when they are in 3996.

Imagine managing calendars, of people who probably do not use a calendar, managing responsibilities, and a team of 14 people.  Here are some of the things that fell on my plate:

  • Walk throughs of maps, highlighting certain points of interest and things to be prepared for.
  • Put teammates through coordinated exercises practicing nuances of certain aspects of the game.  
  • Organize calendars and set an agenda
  • Make adjustments as seen fit based on competition
  • Manage people’s feelings/emotions
  • Tweak defined setup’s for optimum efficiency
  • Contingency Planning
  • Recruiting/Marketing/Branding

This doesn’t sound easy does it?  It was a lot of work.  But let me throw another monkey wrench in the whole thing, we would have to do it with CHAT, all entirely with CHAT.  Corporations now have Slack we had IRC.  We would be in a game making convulded binds to trying to explain situations, and time them out in a repeatable way.  You would see a person going in the left ramp room, but you had to wait 5 seconds to post it so they could reasonably assume the time, and this was all coordinated.

90s Gaming Clan Leaders - Mplayer

This deserves some credit, because it was incredibly revolutionary and is the biggest thing left off your resume.  Twelve year olds, learning to be army captains in a digital world, before the world became so digital.  It’s really mind blowing when you put it all into perspective.  Leadership was developed in a way that wouldn’t be directly relevant in the workplace for 15 years… 15 years…. Lets all take a moment to appreciate how revolutionary everything was.

Over time Roger Wilco and Mic chat become more commonplace, but it was still a lot of people with slow internet and computers trying to coordinate 12 people at a given time.  Online gaming built great leaders, and they deserve appreciation.

Today: According to the New York Times 2/15/2017


“Last year, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely, according to the survey of more than 15,000 adults.”

Big shout out to the cup-o>! noodles clan

c0mmon Bebo Breeze Joe k1ndbud Dakine Shogun h3llfyr3 TwinCannon Homi Gannon and everyone else.

1996 - infinity. The ringer in every spades tournament.


  1. Well guess what not all of us were kids in the 90’s lol. A lot of us were already in our late 30’s and 40’s when this all started. We have been gaming ever since. 😛

    • Time has flown by too!

  2. A bit part of it, I think, is that people were really proud of their clans in the past, and the competitive scene and general playerbase were much more connected. The way games forced players to do things themselves — host servers, leagues, tournaments, even develop gameplay to fix bugs or balance via server plugins or mods… this just doesn’t exist anymore. All this work and involvement made it so you really got to know and respect the other players by name. “Hey, it’s the guy who made SPEEDstats!” A well known player wouldn’t just be some absract concept of a person you’ll never meet, playing for a “team” you’ll never see outside of Twitch, they’d be pubbing on the server your on, getting bugged for config tips, or maybe playing under an alias leading other people to guess who it is.

    Now with modern games your only avenue to play is to queue up for auto-matchmaking, sometimes not even knowing if it’s an actual server or peer to peer, no console to be found, your name tied to some login username for some service, the other players being randoms you’ll never see again and have no attachment to, and the only goal being raising some rank number or unlocking items. No community, nothing to be proud of, no attachment. It’s almost like they want to you lose interest in it and buy a new game every year. 😛

    • This is where I hope mplayer will change things up. Bring that organized gaming back and build those communities around the games again. Like you said, its all random matchmaking now.


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