An alternate persona. For instance, Batman is Bruce Wayne's alter-ego. A person with an alter-ego does does not necessarily have multiple personality disorder.

A unique text-based game released for the Commodore 64 computer in 1985. Written by an American psychologist, Alter Ego allowed you to assume a new identity (as either a boy or girl, somewhere in America), and then guide that persona from the womb (literally) to the grave.

The game's interface is a simple one - you choose from a group of playing cards arranged in a primitive flow chart format, each of which leads to a text-based scenario providing your Alter Ego with a thorny problem to resolve, in one of several categories - health, relationships, social, vocational, and so forth. Your decisions affect your personal attributes, and consequently the way you respond to future situations.

A simple idea, but brilliantly implemented. Crucially, Alter Ego is extremely well-written, managing to combine a gentle humourous tone with frequent forays into controversial subject matters, and maintaining a consistently high quality over an enormous amount of text. Indeed, Alter Ego is so huge that it could not be released on the standard cassette tape format of the time, and had to be released instead on several floppy disks, putting it well beyond the reach of most Commodore owners.

This tragically overlooked classic of 80's videogaming has now been expertly recreated in HTML, and can be enjoyed by a larger audience at - http://www.theblackforge.net/

On Monday Clark trips
Nearly falls on a desk
Superman knows he'd smash it in two
Deflects himself gently
At superspeed and lands beside the desk
Denting the wastecan.

"Ow!" says Clark
Superman doesn't feel much pain
Clark always remembers to limp

"He really is clumsy,"
Lois says to Jimmie
"Milking it," says Jimmie
Clark glows in Lois's solicitous concern

Tuesday Clark still limps a little
Superman tangled with Lex Luthor overnight
A kryptoknife
Leaves a cut on his left palm
Luckily the limp was on the left
A cane hides his palm nicely
His wince is real
"Call me gimpy," Clark jokes

"A cane?" whispers Lois
Jimmie rolls his eyes

Wednesday
Daily Planet Conference
Clark keeps running to the bathroom
His disappearance coincides with the
Appearances of Superman
At the distant earthquake

"Damn it!" says the boss
As Clark runs out again

Clark really does look worn
Apologetic
At the end of the day
"I always wish I could do more," he says
"You have to take care of yourself
when you are sick," says Lois

Thursday
Lois and Clark
At the scene of the bank massacre
Clark looks pale
"Nausea," he gasps and disappears

Lois watches Superman
Catch the bullets and the crooks

Clark's story reads as if he were there

On Friday
Clark is cranky
Lois has a date with Superman

"Sometimes Clark's jealousy drives me crazy,"
Lois says to Jimmie, "How can he compete?
But Clark, well,
there is something so human about him."

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