Sometimes when I was a kid, my dad would need to pick things up from the office on Sundays, and I would usually go with him. I liked it because we were all alone in a big office and it seemed spooky yet fun. One day, I was about 7-8, we went in, and in the middle of the main room, was a strange looking thing was a sort of TV screen on top. It was an Apple II.
"Let me show you", my dad said all excitedly, and he loaded up this amazing new game that had just come out and that everybody in the office was playing: Space Invaders.
I got hooked and did not want to go home anymore. For weeks I was pushing for us to go back to the office every Sunday. It was the only computer they had. Monochrome green screen and all.
After a while of this nonsense, my dad came home with a Spectrum, hooked it up, gave me a thick mag and said: all you need is in here, never ask me for games.
So over and over again I was typing in pages and pages of code, debugging, typing, but as it was in basic somehow the games where never as good as the speed I had experienced on the Apple II. Also, I never had a tape recorder, so every time we turned of the computer I lost everything.
After over a year, my dad came home with the green screen Apple II he had bought off the office, as they had changed their computer to something else. Same thing, no games. Days and months just typing in code. Got quite good at it in the end.
By then my friends started getting C64s. Wow, lots of colour, amazing music and sounds. I loved it, started spending more time over than at home, and abandoned the Apple. The NES came out in shops, but left me unimpressed. I just loved the C64, and wanted to own one. The years went by and the others started moving on to Amigas and Atari STs. Very late, around 1989, I finally got hold of a C64 breadbin model that a friend was throwing away. It just had a dataset. I was happy with it for a while, but it was all just to far behind what was going on outside in the computer and videogame world.
By then, it might have been towards the mid-80s" my dad kept coming home on fridays bringing the company "portable" PC, which was a monstrous thing we had to carry upstairs together, with a tiny B/W screen in the corner. That is what they called mobile back then. He had two games for it:
-Flight Simulator (going at a crawling pace, but I had time so it was ok)
I got hooked on King's Quest, and spent all week waiting for the next weekend to come. I loved all the point and click classic adventures ever since, and that is why I sort of missed out on all the coming consoles. Towards the end of the nineties point and click adventures died out, so I was left with nothing.
By then I started working in the game industry, on several major titles, but funny enough, I was not at all playing during that time. I saw it purely as a job and did not want to play more games after making games all day.
Finally, a couple of years later, I got an xbox when it came out, and started loving it after a while. Then the 360. Same thing. But I started getting bored, and one day on ebay I came across an Atari 2600 when I was looking for retro PC adventures. What on earth is that I thought? A console with wood, without, in small, in big, six buttons, for buttons. Lots of them. So I bought one!
It arrived, was filthy, dusty, smelt bad, and had two games: motocross and boom bang (pal taiwan carts). I put it into storage without even bothering.
Six months later I found it while going through my stuff, and thought I would hook it up.
Played Motocross for 2 minutes. Boom bang for 1. I my god. Threw the whole thing back into storage (you have to imagine I was and xbox 360 hardcore gamer who had never seen or player a vcs in his life; so quite a culture shock).
Little by little, I started watching youtube clips, looking at artworks and ebay listings, but it took another couple of months before I hooked up the smelly filthy console again. I got a couple of new games for it. Some I started to like, until eventually one day it clicked, and I "felt" the games. Now I am in love with them. I just love that the whole ideas evolve in the mind, and that all is based on gameplay. No idea was too obscure at the time. The artworks are great and fun.
We'll see how far this goes, but for now, with the smelly 2600, I'm having the time of my life.