America Online 180 degree rotation, 1996
The largest internet online service.
When I first joined America Online in 1991 it was a fledgling community dwarfed by oldtimers like CompuServe and Genie. Now it has grown larger than all its competitors and is the largest internet online service. Despite its size it maintains a notably human-scale, folksy feel, reinforced by founder Steve Case’s honest monthly newsletters.
My relation to America Online shifted from user to developer when I started developing the online board game MetaSquares in 1995, working with Kai Krause and Ian Gilman at the software company MetaTools. While there are many other more specialized online gaming services, MetaTools wanted to reach a broader audience that would appreciate a nonviolent, thoughtful game. Furthermore, MetaTools chief inventor Kai Krause launched his career posting Photoshop tips on America Online. MetaSquares now runs on both Windows 95 and Macintosh versions of America Online, and attracts thousands of players every day. In the future MetaTools plans to release Go, Hex, and other online games.
I created this inversion as a present to the folks at America Online Games for the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May 1996 in Los Angeles. The inversion worked rather easily; the letter combinations are all ones I’ve used before.