online multiplayer game, 1999
created with


In 1998, asked me to direct the creation of an online game for their site. The result was SiSSYFiGHT 2000, one of the earliest browser-based multiplayer games with real-time interaction. In SiSSYFiGHT 2000, each player takes the role of a bratty little girl vying for social dominance of the playground. Your goal is to reduce the self-esteem of the other girls, and one or two girls can end up the winners.

The game uses a prisoners-dilemma structure in which players all decide on their actions simultaneously. Teasing only works, for example, if two or more players both tease the same target. At the same time, all of the in-game conversation and negotiation takes place via public chat. Since the success of your action depends on coordinating your actions with other players, winning a game of SiSSYFiGHT entails very savvy social maneuvering.

SiSSYFiGHT was played by millions and quickly built a community of dedicated players, who took part in fan art and fiction, special game events, and real-world meetups. Diana Barbee selflessly and expertly managed this community for more than a decade, assisted by original SiSSYFiGHT developers Ranjit Bhatnagar and Naomi Clark. After closed, SiSSYFiGHT was managed by Gamelab for several years. In 2009, the game was taken offline by Gamelab, but SiSSYFiGHT lives on in the hearts and minds of its players.


> SiSSYFiGHT 2000 Wikipedia page

copyright © 2010 eric zimmerman
be playful