Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to a BBS for the first time in my life and I happened upon “door games” … what an interesting concept! I played “Murder Motel” and managed my first assasination on first attempt! what a rush!
In case you want a capable terminal program for trying this yourself:
Coincidentally I recently researched BBSes as well, it’s extremely interesting. From what I understood they worked even before the Internet (which was also the case e.g. with early Usenet), just through phone lines and because of that they used to be a local thing (phoning far away was expensive). Also in the early days there could be only one (or only a few) user present at the time, there literally had to be one modem for any connected user, you had to wait in line for accessing the BBS. The admin would be watching anyone connecting to the server personally, sometimes chat with that guy etc. I also found an article about a guy travelling the US in current days and connecting to the last few BBSes that work this way (there’s still like a dozen or two in the US if I recall correctly), asking the admins why they keep them running etc. It’s pretty weird it is such an obscure topic nowadays when back then it used to be THE thing, there was even a whole magazine just about BBSes. Imagine all the communities that back then were like the Pokitto community is to us, now all lost in time and forgotten.
But some BBSs had many lines; dozens or even hundreds. Each line was controlled by a PC (usually running MSDOS) with a single modem attached. All the PCs talked to a server over a local LAN, so they all shared the data on the drives in the server. The phone lines were on a “hunt group” with a single number, so you would get any available PC.
Makes me think of this game by Zachtronics a little bit Last Call BBS on Steam