I’ve played dopewars on Slack

Bertrand Fan
2 min readOct 4, 2016


I’m not sure when the first time I played dopewars was, if it was given to me on a floppy disk or I had played it as a door game on a BBS, but it has existed in one form or another for every technological milestone in my life.

Drug Wars (title screen) on MS-DOS (1984)
Drug Wars on MS-DOS (1984)

I’ve played dopewars on a graphing calculator.

DrugWars on a HP48 GX.
Dopewars on a HP40.
Drug Wars on a TI-82

I’ve played dopewars on a Palm Pilot.

DopeWars for Palm (1999)

I’ve played dopewars on an iPhone.

iDope: dopewars for iPhone (2008)

But the version that I’ve played the most is the dopewars that runs on Unix and Windows, written and open-sourced by Ben Webb.

dopewars v1.5.12 running on OS X

It’s my favorite dopewars implementation. The UI brings back memories of glowing CRT screens and Model M keyboards. Every aspect is customizable, from the prices of drugs to the things that are said in the subway. I often play it in single-player mode, but it supports networked play through a client/server implementation.

I was digging around in the documentation that describes the protocol and started thinking, if I could write a client for dopewars that acted as a proxy to Slack, I could play dopewars on Slack. So I did, mostly so that I could say:

I’ve played dopewars on Slack.

dopewars bot running on Slack (2016)