Saturday, March 28, 2009
CyberAction Digital Trading Cards
Around the year 2000 or so, I came across a CD in the discount bin. The CD read "Major League Baseball: The Year the Records Fell." I looked it over, and it turned out to be a disc with "digital baseball cards" on it. Well, that's all I needed. I paid the $5 and took it home. Now, in those days, CyberAction was still a viable company, doing things with digital trading cards that no one else was doing. Unfortunately, when the "dotcom" bubble burst, so did CyberAction, Inc. Ironically, the address I found using the WayBack Machine still exists, and the phone number is still registered to CyberAction. I wonder if it'd be worth a call to see if I could get the digital cards on the cheap.
The cards pictured in this post came on the CD. You can still find the CD if you search long enough online, and you can usually get it for about 2 bucks. The downside is that you don't have access to the cool cards that came later. I actually managed to download a bunch of their free cards, but I'm sure the files have long since gone to electron heaven.
The files themselves are in Macromedia Director format, which is some kind of file type that my computer loves to hate. There is a CyberAction Viewer that gets installed from the CD, but evidently it can't handle newer version of QuickTime. This means you can look at the front of the cards, but you cannot 'interact' with them.
The 'interaction' part came in the form of an animated 'flipping' of the card to read the back, and many cards came with a short 'highlight video.' Of course, you need to be able to run QuickTime to play the vids, and it shipped with quickTime 3, which is only like 7 or 8 versions behind or something. The most you can do is arrange them on the 'table' as I have done in these photos.
The CD comes with 54 cards plus a bonus card if you register your CD with the included code. Of course, you can't very well unlock it if the site doesn't exist anymore, can you? Or can you? I'm working on it to see if I can 'trick' the program into showing me the bonus Yankees card.
In addition to many 'regular' issue cards, the CD does include Collector's Edition cards of Rod Carew, Al Kaline, and I think Babe Ruth. I really wish I could see the backs of the cards, just for the stats and such. As it is now, though, looking back at these digital cards is kinda cool. I had forgotten about them.
If there is demand for them, I will capture and post ALL the cards on the disc to my blog. Also, if I manage to get a hold of the other .dcr files, I will see what I can do about sharing those and the cyberaction viewer. Since the company is defunct, I don't know the legal ramifications I may run into (or skirt around).
In addition to baseball, they also did Star Trek, wrestling, and some specialty cards like Fructis...