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My Own Personal History Of Computer Gaming

A Little Delve Into Computer Gaming Prehistory

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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The Games People Play

I am going to start this with the reason why I could never learn to ride a motorcycle as a teenager. I learned to drive but when i got on a full blown motorcycle there were so many things to remember and control that I usually ended up just falling off. I could ride a moped because everything was on the handlebars , and a speedway bike was brilliant , just an accelerator and no brakes perfectly simple , but a full blown motorcycle, I just couldn’t cut it.

As a history lesson to analogise with world history this will probably finish when Julius Caesar said “Veni, Vidi, Vici” on the shores of Britain so to most gamers this will be like reading prehistory, and some people might see me as prehistoric in gaming terms. Games that started of as text and now are effectively interactive films.

I have always loved board and physical structure games but have seldom found anyone to actually play with me. I love Scrabble , Jenga , Backgammon , Chess , Draughts , Connect 4.

I actually wrote and sold a take on Connect 4 to Imagine Software in Liverpool for fifty pounds. It was written under CPM+ on a Cambridge Lynx. Incidentally, IBM was going to go for CPM but when IBM sent their representatives to meet with Gary Kildall but he was not there, he was out flying, so then IBM turned to Bill Gates’ Microsoft and went for DOS, and then Windows. So that’s why you have Windows today. This is probably a decent commentary on what happens.

Apple was on a separate trajectory, using mice and GUI (graphical user interface) before Windows hit, but that was the start to animated gaming.

So the first computer game I came across was "Adventure" or "Cave Adventure" on a Honeywell mainframe when I worked at Littlewoods in the early eighties before most of today's computer gamers that I know were born.

This is Where I Started

Essentially this was it, taken from the Wikipedia entry which you can read here.

“Colossal Cave Adventure (also known as Adventure or ADVENT) is a text-based adventure game, developed in 1975 and 1976 by Will Crowther for the PDP-10 mainframe. The game was expanded upon in 1977 by Don Woods. In the game, the player explores a cave system rumored to be filled with treasure and gold.”

Ooh Graphics

I had a number of home computers, the aforementioned Cambridge Lynx, and a couple of Amstrads before my friend Chris Brough sold me (very cheaply) a desktop with a massive 10Mb hard disk, what I and my daughters could do with that. 10Mb is three minutes of MP3 music!!

H2G2

I still played text games like “Zork” and “Rogue” and still play the latter and it is simple and challenging enough for me.I loved “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” which I came to via the BBC radio series then the books and then the game and TV series. You can still play the game here.

There were a lot of graphic games on the Amstrad that my daughters Juliet and Kirsty became expert at from a very early age , but my memory on this is very foggy, but remember mazes , werewolves , and the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” which was a definite favourite of theirs.

Games on My Desktop

I progressed to graphic shooter games like “Wolfenstein”, “Doom” and “Quake” and that is the end of my gaming. I still play these as Steam has packages for a pittance so you can see on my desktop I have lots of games, probably a lot that I will never play, but I do drop into these quite often.

I know this won’t impress today's gamers but maybe an interesting drop into Computer Game history that you may be unaware of.

I've led with this great take on the Joe South song "The Games People Play" by Inner Circle which is gorgeously uplifting and good to listen to while you read this.

vintage
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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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