Friday, February 08, 2008

Computer Games of my Youth

I don't think our parents were against video games, but we never had a Nintendo console. I can count on one hand the number of times I've played console games (except the X-Box, and only Halo then anyway). But I do not remember a time when my family didn't have a computer. The first computer I remember was a 286... a noisy, crawling, dinosaur compared to my dual-core Vista headache now. Since the computer was operated through DOS, Mom always had to type in all of the command prompts for the games to work. She'd struggle through until Reader Rabbit scrolled across the screen. At school, I learned on a Mac. Of course, as a student in the Willamette Valley, we definitely played Oregon Trail until the keyboards broke. We also played Odell Lake and goofed around with the classic Kid Pix.

Later, with our supercharged 486 (movin' up!), I discovered the world with Carmen Sandiego and worked my fingers into cramps with Tetris. Mom and Dad encouraged learning at the computer, but we played fun things too. My uncle introduced us to little games like Bow and Arrow, SkiFree, and my favorite, Chip's Challenge. I bet fifteen years have passed... Chip and I still meet occasionally. His challenge wears my hands out!

Through college, when I had my own computer, my sister and I filled it with The Sims and all of Hoyle's card and board games. We played some of the tycoon games, and once in a great while we'd find some random game that made us laugh.

Some games we only played at Grandma's house. Mom's mom has a computer (and recently got one that leaves mine in the dust--totally not fair). She liked to watch us play computer games, so my bigger cousin would install his manly games, and my sister and I would be allowed to play them. We especially liked to play Time Commando and Heretic.

I've played all sorts of computer games, and I've spent days and days building houses for Sims. I've killed demons, wrecked car after car, and gambled away millions of dollars. I've learned about economy and geography, history and culture. Nevermind what I've done on the internet!

Okay, that does it. I know what I'm doing with my weekend...


Dennis said...

But did you ever encounter Hypercard for the Mac?

It was some sort of weird predecessor to Powerpoint.

Anonymous said...

What about THEME PARK GAME?!?!?!

Jeff W said...

Yay Compy 286!