Author Topic: How did the hero get the character '@'?  (Read 5842 times)

Nekoninja

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How did the hero get the character '@'?
« on: May 25, 2013, 08:46:06 PM »
I am curious about RPG history why the hero or the player tends to get this ascii character '@'? Why not this '☺'? What was the first RPG game to use it? It seems very common to use '@' in most of the text RPG games I have seen so far.
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 08:53:40 PM »
As far as I have read, it supposedly originated in a pun: Since @ is pronounced "at", the sign shows you "where the hero is at".

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guest509

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 04:35:24 AM »
Many early Rogue builds show your character as a smiley.

EDIT: But it looks kinda wonky. Everything else is a symbol but your hero is more of a picture. I prefer the '@' symbol. If you turn on easy mode in Brogue you turn into a '&' which to me looks like a guy giving you the 'f-you' arms crossed salute. :-)

Nekoninja

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 07:15:08 AM »
[quote  ;D If you turn on easy mode in Brogue you turn into a '&' which to me looks like a guy giving you the 'f-you' arms crossed salute. :-)
[/quote]

HAHAHAHA! I never thought of that!  ;D
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guest509

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 10:56:11 AM »
It can also look like a guy totally wailing on air guitar.

Ex

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 05:18:28 PM »
Many early Rogue builds show your character as a smiley.
The old unix versions of rogue used an @ symbol. It might have had to do with compatibility. Early unix systems that played rogue might not have had access to all the same symbols, but they all had access to @. Or it might have taken inspiration from early unix mail programs that used @ like modern e-mail addresses do. I've also heard that it's supposed to look like an adventurer in the middle holding a shield or sword or something. Who knows though.

Maybe one of the authors of rogue knows or has said in an interview somewhere?

ekolis

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 09:30:33 PM »
I've heard rumors that the @ was supposed to look like a top-down view of a fedora. But that was probably just some silly Nethack archaeologist joke; I put more stock in the "where you is at" theory :)
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guest509

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 07:53:14 AM »
How about this theory...what other symbol would do?

'&' maybe...

Etinarg

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Re: How did the hero get the character '@'?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2013, 01:21:40 PM »
I imagine the developer sitting with a pencil and a sheet of paper, idly doodling while pondering "What character could I use for the hero?" ... and when watched the doodles, he suddenly was all like "yes, it's the @" ;D