I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw it, that magic screen projecting device, but it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. It was two and a half hours away from my house, and it belonged to my older cousins, but my brother and I spent many a night talking across the room ab out how wonderful it was to play Pacman.
You see my cousins where the first people we knew that had a video game. We had seen them at stores and begged our parents for quarters to play them, but this was an actual system in their home and you didn’t need quarters, you just needed to wait your turn. Sometimes the line was long enough that you could have earned that quarter, but it was always worth it to sit in that darkened basement and play the three turns you got being eaten by ghosts well before you could leave the bottom half of the screen.
After that, we did eventually get a “computer.” It was a Texas Instruments 80 with a sound modulator and tape recorder back up. We had three games at first, Hunt the Wampus, a version of space invaders and PARSEC! But there was that tape backup and it had to be used.
That was many moons ago, and even though developers now ask me never to write code, ever again, it was how I got started in my current career field. (Thanks dad for turning me into a computer nerd.) Those were good times and we did move on from there. When I begged for a commodore 64, we bought an IBM clone. I learned DOS, and started my writing career. But it was not just for writing, it had games to you know. Kings Quest, Wizardry and early flight simulators took a large amount of my days. They might have been in black and green, the characters might have been stick figure-esque, and I never did figure out how you could gnaw and something a miss, but those video games were legendary things and, if you were patient enough and held your mouth just right, you could some times even save your game.