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Don Daglow papers

 Collection — Box: 1-2
Identifier: 110.3320
The Don Daglow papers cover some of Daglow’s early work prior to founding Stormfront Studios. Materials include notes, correspondence, conference information, reference materials, computer code printouts, sales numbers, newspaper articles, and two DVDs. Of note is the white binder containing materials on the development of Neverwinter Nights (1991), the first online multiplayer role-playing game to use graphics; it is credited with starting the Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) genre. Also highlighted in this collection are materials on Utopia (1982), considered the first simulation game. A DVD oral history of Don Daglow narrating the background of this collection’s documents rounds out this collection.


  • 1977 - 2010
  • Majority of material found within 1981 - 1982


Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


The Don Daglow papers are a compilation of notes, correspondence, reference materials, computer code printouts, and two DVDs pertaining to the work of Don Daglow. The bulk of these materials are from 1981 and 1982.

Biographical Note

Don Daglow is an American computer and video game designer, programmer, and producer. He is best known for pioneering simulation games, creating the first online multiplayer role-playing game with graphics, and founding game developer Stormfront Studios.

While studying playwriting at Pomona College in Claremont, California, Daglow discovered his talent for writing computer programs. During the 1970s, Daglow created games such as Baseball (1971), the first interactive computer baseball game; Dungeon (1975), the first computer role-playing game; and other titles freely shared via university mainframe computers. In 1980, Daglow started at Mattel Electronics as one of the original Intellivision programmers. Daglow produced Utopia, a groundbreaking simulation game (also called a “god game”) in 1982. At Mattel, Daglow also worked on Intellivision World Series Baseball (1983), a game which incorporated multiple camera angles into the game display. Daglow joined Electronic Arts in 1983, designing more than a dozen titles. He moved to Broderbund a few years later, notably signing the original distribution deal for Will Wright’s Sim City (1989). Daglow founded Stormfront Studios in 1988, serving as president and CEO until the company closed in 2008.

Daglow has received many honors, including a Technology and Engineering Emmy award and an Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Achievement Award. His role in establishing simulation and online multiplayer role-playing games has greatly shaped the modern video game industry.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Business papers, 1977-1995

Series II: Oral history and presentation DVDs, 2009-2010

Series III: Game design concepts, 1981-1982 and n.d.

Series IV: Computer program codes, 1980

Custodial History

The Don Daglow papers were donated to The Strong as a gift from Don Daglow. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 110.3320 in May 2010.

Processed by

Doris Sturzenberger created an initial inventory in July 2010. Revised processing and finding aid were completed by Julia Novakovic in September 2013.


Finding Aid to the Don Daglow Papers
Julia Novakovic
24 September 2013
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)