06
Nov
10

What I Was Thinking…

Recently I found a bunch of old work on some forgotten ZIP discs, some personal, some work-related.  Given that my current project is about early videogaming, I thought I’d post this one,  a 1998 note about my introduction to video games.

 

It’s ironic that I can’t recall the first time I saw a video game.

I’ve spent the better part of my adult life in work related to or revolving around video and computer games, yet, I don’t have a clue when I saw my first video game.

My first memory of a video game is rather dim…a Magnavox “pong” game my family received for Christmas 1977. I don’t have strong recollections of it, just that we wanted it desperately and tired of it quickly.

My first distinct video game memories are associated with my brother’s Atari Video Computer System: he and I struggling for supremacy in countless rounds of Warlords, my sister’s addiction to Asteroids, our cat Bashful’s fascination with the ball in Super Breakout, and our parents’ utter incomprehension of our mania.

Memories of a Space Invaders machine are loosely associated with this time, but, truth to tell, I can’t recall when first I saw it, or even in which year my brother first got his Atari.

On the other hand, I do have a crystal clear recollection of my first exposure to computer games. The year was 1981, the game was The Wizard and the Princess, the platform was an Apple ][+, the fellow who owned it was Gary Click, and I was just getting out of high school and had no real direction for my life. I recall being fascinated.

At the time I had no idea that these earnest questions were the first steps in what would become a career path I would have never expected to pursue: a career in computer and video games.

February 22, 1998

 

The piece ends there.

Since then I realize that I most likely saw my first “video game” in Virginia City, NV, in the mid 70s, where I recall seeing some mechanical arcade amusements and pinball machines really for the first time. But, again, I can’t be sure. Still pining for those memories…

On the plus side, this brings back one but of trivia that relates to a photo I have somewhere: we had a cat named Bashful who loved watching the ball in Super Breakout.

Here’s to you, long-gone video-cat!

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