My story

I guess the biggest thing I identify myself with is computers and programming.

I got my first computer when I was about 7. Well, I'd rather call it a console. It was an Atari 7800. I had seen it advertised in a catalogue we kept receiving in the mail. After bugging my parents about it enough I finally received it. It was fun for a little while, but I soon realized that the games didn't ever change scenery. A bit too reptetitive.

When summer vacation arrived after my first year at school, I had nothing to do and I spent my days alone while my parents were at work (wow, was this really how we did it back then?). I would ride my bike around meeting up with kids I knew from school. The kids back then used to hang out at the local "mall". Well, there was a grocery store, an electronics store, a fast food restaurant and a video rental store. The video store had 3 arcade machines at any time and I came across games like Paperboy, Thunderblade, Ghosts'n'Goblins etc. The last one really caught my interest. I would come up to these arcades everyday even without money. Just seeing someone play was enough reason to be there. At one occation one of the older guys actually asked me to help on a level. Imagine that, pay money to play and then have someone else do it for you. Well, I did it without any hesitation and I think I failed as well.

To play these games I needed money. I didn't have a job and my parents didn't want to fund this activity, at least not willingly. So what to do? Well, there were some options:
  • Steal money at home (wallets, saving pigs etc)
  • Find/steal empty bottles and cash out the deposit
  • Visit old aunts or grandmothers who were known to share the wealth
Let's just say I got a bit caught up with Ghosts'n'Goblins. My parents realized this and forbid me to visit this mall. That didn't work until I accidentally met my father at the video store. I walked around a corner and saw him while he was checking out some videos. He saw me as well. So he talked to the store owner to tell him to call whenever he saw me there. The store owner also suggested he could throw me out. From this day, my friends always had to check who was at work before I dared to go inside.

I had heard these older guys talking about how they could play this game from home - for FREE! All I needed was this thing called a "Commodore 64". My parents would have to agree that this was a much better solution than having me spend time/money at the mall all the time. It took a while to convince them, but after a few months I managed to get one, spending my own savings. However, despite having some floppy disks (the big ones) with games on, there was no GnG (Ghosts'n'Goblins). However, since I bought the C64 from another guy, I also go a ton of programming books. And being young and naive, I actually figured there might be a chance that the RECIPE for GnG could actually be in one of this books. If I could only find this recipe and enter it into the computer, character by character, I might be able to play GnG again.

There was no recipe for GnG, only small programming examples here and there to teach you general programming on the C64. So this was my first experience with programming, despite that I never learned to take fully advantage of the C64.

A couple of years later I got into NES games and stumbled upon games like Shadowgate and Maniac Mansion (as well as GnG, of course).


Continue to read about the 90's here





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