Early experiences with computer games

Birmingham, England – 1973 or 1974

I was nine or ten and attending a school in Redditch when I played my first computer game. We had an excursion to the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry (since closed). All I can really remember is the red of noughts and crosses on a very simple interface. My game with it was a draw.

Pong – late 1970s

Living in Cronulla, some neighbour kids had a console that played Pong on their TV. I was hooked.

Traveller – 1978-80

I was attending Woolooware High School and was what was known as a “Library Hanger”. I loved books! My friend James brought three little books to school. Black with red writing that said “Traveller”. I’d never heard of Dungeons and Dragons, but later I was to discover that Traveller was a space based version of the same concept. We were hooked.

Vectrex – early 1980s

My friend Stephen got this brilliant (or so I thought) vector based gaming machine called a Vectrex. I borrowed it and played it non-stop.

Commodore 64 and Castle Adventure – 1984

I was now working and used my money to buy the wonderful Commodore 64. At the same time I bought a book on adventure game programming and wrote my first (and only) game – a simple text based game.

1988-1993

Ah… wonderful years. I bought a Microbee 386 and a stack of games. Over those five years I moved between Civilisation, Wolfenstein, Alone in the Dark, and so many other games. Then came…

1993 – DOOM

Doom was astonishing. It was the first fully immersive game that I had experienced. It was shareware goodness. It was also the first game where I started using tools to make maps.

1996-1998 – Quakes

The various Quakes were fun but nothing exciting for me.

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