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Friday, August 19, 2011

Videogame Memories 10 | Michell Plested
GUEST BLOG POST

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I remember the first time I ever saw a video game at someone’s house. The game was Pong (yes, I know I’m dating myself) and it was in black and white on my aunt’s 20” television. I was amazing; for the first time I could actually interact with something on television.

The next ones I remember were at my neighbour’s house. They had a Nintendo Entertainment System - one of the original NES. It was a household filled with kids and I spent the majority of my time sitting, watching others play.

It wasn’t until High School that I actually spent any time playing video games. Living in the country without one of my own, I had to content myself with the occasional trip down to the pool hall and arcade to play with my limited allowance. Games like Tron, Galaga, Space Invaders, I tried them all. I was fascinated with the movement, strategies and, most of all, the technology used to create them.

It wasn’t until my family finally made the plunge and bought a Colecovision that I had anything of my own to play. The best part was, the system also doubled as a computer with a printer, keyboard, word processor and Basic language for programming in.

I think that is when I truly made the decision to work in technology. I took every opportunity to work on computers. I programmed Tandy colour computers at school and eventually graduated from Technical School with a diploma in Computer Technology.

I’ve never looked back. Many years later, I’ve worked in just about every facet of computers you can. Programmer, desktop/server/network support, routing and security. I’ve worked as a Product Manager and as a Project Manager. It’s been a very rewarding career and one that I know was influenced by those early video games.

Little is known about the origins of Michell as they are shrouded (or at least covered with a moth-eaten towel) by the mists of time. What is known is largely obscure and often contradictory. Oh and he sometimes speaks about himself in the third person. One thing that is known to be absolutely true is he is a perfectionist (a nice way of saying anal) as can be evidenced by the number of iterations it took him to write the first chapter (completely) of his first book (31). On the subject of his first book, Michell is always more than happy to discuss, often to excess, the trials and tribulations he has faced. He usually misses those visual cues to shut-up or change the subject (like the audience falling asleep or simply walking away).

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