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Games Entertainment

What Was Your First Gaming Experience? 718

Stephen Totilo, at the MTV Multiplayer blog, recently put up a piece that asked a number of notable games industry folks all about their first time gaming. Several had some unique answers, with Peter Molyneux (Black and White, Fable) probably taking the cake: "It would have to be the original Pong. I can clearly remember seeing it in a shop window on Guildford High Street and being utterly transfixed - I had never wanted anything so much - in fact I stole money from my grandmother's purse to buy it. I got it home, took it apart, and never got it to work again - but from that moment on I was hooked on all things to do with computer games." What was your first experience with gaming? d20s on a kitchen table? A Nintendo Entertainment System under the Christmas tree?
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What Was Your First Gaming Experience?

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  • I was 14 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:47PM (#22052698)
    It was in the back of the van. It was painful and awkward, and I'd rather not talk about it.
  • Pong (Score:3, Funny)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:47PM (#22052716)
    I bought one when they first came out. Before that, it was chess.
  • Zork (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thunder_Princes ( 688516 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:49PM (#22052764)
    1978, MIT, Zork ~ yay for the DMG! I nearly failed out of school figuring out the carousel room. i had such an elaborate map. ZORK STILL RULZ! :)~
    • by spun ( 1352 )
      It was 1976 or '77, and I was six years old. My friend's dad was a comp-sci professor at UNLV. He had a teletype and a dial in account to the university PDP 10. He would dial in and set up a restricted shell for us, basically a menu of games. Colossal Cave Adventures was the best, but we also played Lunar Lander, Hunt the Wumpus, and other simple games, wasting reams of paper. That was what got me into computers. Been hooked ever since.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gonarat ( 177568 ) *

        That brings back the memories -- when I was in 10th grade, our High School had an account on the Lehigh University mainframe. After we finished loading our programming assignments (we typed them on paper tape offline, then loaded them online after the Teacher logged on), we would play Star Trek. I don't remember all of the commands now, but basically one would move from sector to sector. After each turn, a text-based grid map would be printed showing starbases, planets, Klingons, etc. Imagine waiting fo

      • by Goldarn ( 922750 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:00PM (#22055880)
        I was working on my Boy Scout computers merit badge, and a friend of my parents let me use a computer of some sort at Fluke.

        I still remember sitting in that cold room, the tall menhirs of flashing lights and whirring tapes behind me. When I was done running my programs, he said, "try this." He typed


        and my fate was sealed. I work on computers to this day. The first game I wrote myself for my TRS-80 model 1 (4K of memory!) was a simple text adventure.

        Willy Wonka had it all wrong. It's computers that are worlds of pure imagination.
        • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:05AM (#22062802) Homepage

          he said, "try this." He typed


          and my fate was sealed. I work on computers to this day.
          Heh. I bet there are a hundreds of us with nearly the same story. For me it was my father, and it was on an NCSS PDP-11 via a 15" tractor-feed dot matrix printing serial terminal with a 300 baud acoustic coupler modem and a rotary dial phone in the living room. After that, it was all over.
  • My first experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrMrLordX ( 559371 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:49PM (#22052778)
    . . . was when I was three and my dad still liked going to arcades (games were simpler then, so he could still enjoy them). I would stand on a stool or box or whatever they had provided for kids to use to reach the controls on arcade machines and try playing PacMan, though I was only messing with the controls during the game's demo. Eventually I figured out that the game did something different if you put a quarter in it, so I'd beg quarters off my dad and then plunk them in, only to spend the entire game eating power pellets to turn the ghosts blue. It was a long time before I ever cleared the first stage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skim123 ( 3322 )

      My introduction to gaming was through my dad, at age three, as well. Our neighbors went on a multi-week vacation, and my parents were asked to look after their house - water the plants, get the mail, and so on. They had an Atari and Space Invaders, so my dad and I would go over there to "water the plants" and stay for hours playing Space Invaders.

      Three or four years later we bought a used Atari at a garage sale, although I think the trivial interest in video games had worn off for him by then, so it was pr

  • Candyland, natch.

    Queen Frostine was the bee's knees.
    • by LithiumX ( 717017 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:11PM (#22053388)
      It was a long time ago, and I can barely remember it, but I believe the first game I truly enjoyed that required my active participation was that one where you drop things from your highchair, and suddenly you have another one just like it. Drop it again, and another one shows up. I was hooked on that game for what must have been at least a month or two.

      Not only that, but it was a multiplayer game (2nd player, generally an adult, was required to complete the first level).
  • Gertrude's Chase on a monochrome Apple IIGS
  • Anyone used Galacta, []? I loved this game.
  • Christmas at the age of 5, a shiny new Nintendo sitting under the Christmas tree, the bundle that included the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo, complete with gun. To this day, I can still imagine the smell of the styrofoam and plastic it was housed in, which never fails to remind me of that Christmas when I smell something similar.
  • Donkey Kong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hellad ( 691810 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:52PM (#22052852)
    DK on the Colecovision. I wanted to play as the monkey. This was a great system to grow up on, ton of fun games and great graphics. The one thing that I seems so strange now is that we only played for an hour or two (tops) at a time! We still played outside. I wonder if that is because of the pickup and play nature of those games versus the new games which take 50 hours to complete and completely envelope the person...
  • Looking back, its hard to remember in my new found "old" age. While maybe not exactly right, I do remember a game called Crossbows and Catapults. I doubt that game would have been sold in 20 years due to our new nanny state were everything that can put out an eye is banned.

    As for video games, I would think Atarti 2600 probably. I remember switching the RF switch box and firing it up while listening to whatever tapes I recorded off the radio! [I am sure someone will tell me thats nothing, they stuck tran
    • by Hellad ( 691810 )
      Crossbows and Catapults is available (see [] for one EXPENSIVE place to buy it...)
    • >I doubt that game would have been sold in 20 years due to our new nanny state were everything that can put out an eye is banned.

      Err, I was just at target and saw a box of crossbows and catapults. It was rebranded a bit and was in the clearance isle. I think people need to stop tossing the term 'nanny state' its getting annoying.
      • by joss ( 1346 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:28PM (#22053778) Homepage
        Yeah, well, when I was about 8 my parents bought me an actual crossbow
        at a stall in Italy. The bolt had an iron tip that would embed about 1/2 inch
        into solid oak. Everyone was a bit upset when I fired it at my older brother
        causing an 8 inch bleeding scar where it grazed across his back. In my book
        its getting towards a nanny state when you're not supposed to buy lethal medieval weaponry
        for 4th graders but I guess people have their own standards.
  • C64 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:52PM (#22052862) Homepage
    A commodore 64, in which my dad was playing a wrestling game (I THINK it was called Bebop Wrestling, or something like that). He let me take control of the keyboard, and thus my obsession with gaming had begun (I was 4 at the time)
    • Vic-20 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iamlucky13 ( 795185 )
      Mine was on the Vic-20, the Commodore-64's immediate predecessor. The first was a simple Basic counting game that I think my mom wrote as part of a programming tutorial. I'm guessing I was about three years old at the time.

      My first commercial game was probably Tooth Invaders. You were a toothbrush, running around on a set of 2-D teeth, removing plague. Germs would wander around depositing plague and could kill you. If enough plague accumulated, you'd get a cavity and lose. Graphics quality put Strong Bad
  • by Radius9999 ( 1220338 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:53PM (#22052900)
    I was probably the first kid to ever play a game on a computer. My father worked for IBM, and I played hangman. In those days there were no monitors, so every time you chose a letter it would print up the picture all over again.
  • by techpawn ( 969834 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:54PM (#22052908) Journal
    My first video game experience was NES playing super Mario brothers on the cartridge that had SMB/Duck Hunt/Track and Field. Before that it was various little kid board games but what really got me interested in games was my older brother teaching me chess.. To this day I still love the challenge of the game and a good match between him and I. Thinking moves ahead of the other players and trying to respond in your predictions where wrong. Other games that deserve mention:
    1)Online gaming: MUDs
    2)TTRPG: AD&D at a friends house playing a psyonic Dwarf... Badly...
  • I remember spending hours playing against my brother in Ice Hockey. I cant imagine people today thinking the graphics and gameplay would be remotely acceptable.

    Then there was the disappointment with ET. Not only was it bad it was pretty damn hard for a 8 year old.

    Then there was the disappointment with the Atari 5200. I think they had 5 games for it. The controllers fell apart too.

    Then the big move to Apple //, PCs, etc. Hell, I think somewhere in that mix there was a game or two we bought on tape from Ra
  • My first gaming experience was the 3 lane car racing game on my watch. The screen would scroll 1 pace toward you every time you moved left are right. You would have to avoid cars coming at you.

    This was back in probably 1985-87ish.

  • On an old p/s2 computer running does 5.x I think.

    Ahhh, a simpler time.
  • Vanguard on the Atari 800XL []

    I think I drove my parents insane with that square-wave theme song when I was 4.
  • I was... two or three years old and played Space Invaders on the 2600 with my dad. This must have been 1981 or 1982.
  • I think it was either Pac-man, Combat, or Frogger... not sure which. I was about 6 maybe at the time...
  • by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:56PM (#22052980) Journal
    I haven't had a "first gaming experience" yet. I'm still waiting for Duke Nukem Forever to come out!
  • Odyssey 2000 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:57PM (#22053010) Journal
    My first memory in life. I was 3 years old, and "helping" my brother and sister rake leaves so they could earn money to buy an Odyssey 2000. Pick Axe Pete was awesome!
  • I guess that's revealing my age.
    Pong then Space Invaders, Atari2600, Leisure Suite Larry in CGA graphics.

    We didn't worry about frames per seconds.
  • Amiga 500+ with Lemmings, Captain planet and Bart Simpson vs the space mutants.

    Soon after that someone gave me a pirate copy of monkey island. Arrrggg
  • I found the laptop my parents had bought before I was born, and wanted to play a game with it. My parents gave me a book of source code for applications that could be put on the Model 100. I looked for a short one, and started typing it in. (It was a space invaders type game)

    Also my first experience with programming.
  • We had the single-use pong console...upgraded to a 2600 a year or two later...I figured out you could fly in the clouds in Defender without being harmed so you could continue your game the next day. I rolled the score over doing that.

    First PC game: probably ASCII D&D in the late 80s on my brother-in-law's old (I believe) 80186. (late bloomer on computers obviously). We used to make cheesey little BASIC programs like Party Quest (modeled after some freeware quest game he had) where you had to find the we
  • I helped my grandma. She had polio and was paralyzed from the neck down. She was in an adjustable bed. My aunt and uncle would come by with my mom and dad. I'd stand on the platform next to her bed where she had a tray with slots for cards. I'd put the cards in the tray and she'd tell me which ones to discard.

    I played Rack-o and that was the first game that I owned that I was careful about collecting cards and making sure it was all back in place before putting the game away.

    Battle ship, monopoly, chess.

    • And here I thought you where admitting to playing Magic: The Gathering with a comment title like that...
  • by LibertineR ( 591918 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:00PM (#22053080)
    It was Silent Service on my Commodore 64. Joyful.

    I got laid for the first time while waiting for the fucking tape drive to load the game. Less Joyful, more Silent.

  • But the bosses kept uninstalling it because it could crash the mainframe. []
  • Apple Trek in glorious ASCII! And before dad got the Disk II's, we would wait what seemed like a whole half hour for Little Brick Out to load from the cassette tape.
  • Tag, I think. Then cowboys and indians and army.

    Seriously, we had some console that basically had variations on pong, plus a pistol/rifle attachment that you could do clay pigeon shooting with. I don't remember the name.

    We than had an Atari 2600. Must see about getting an emulator, I'd love to play Adventure [] again and kill that sodding bat!
  • Arcades were pretty much all that I was allowed to do when I was 5.
    When I was 13 my parents bought me a full set of AD&D manuals.
    How did they know the perfect gift, when I didn't know myself?
  • Startrek (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grahammm ( 9083 ) * <> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:02PM (#22053148)
    My first computer gaming experience was the ASCII game Startrek on an HP2000.
  • At the local Woolworths. Or maybe SpaceWars at the Melbourne FL Airport in the mid seventies.
    First game system was Atari Pinball. It was so cool it had pinball and breakout and was a lot cheaper then the Atari 2600.
    From there I got an Atari 2600, then a C64, ColecoVision, and an Amiga.
    Now I have an N64, Dreamcast, XBox, PS2, Wii, Gamecube, and an atari retro arcade system.
    On my PC I play with Fliight Simulator. Like I did on my C64, and my Amiga.

    • First game system was Atari Pinball. It was so cool it had pinball and breakout and was a lot cheaper then the Atari 2600.

      Oh wow ... We had that! I had completely forgotten about it. It had pinball flipper buttons on the side of the console.

      - Roach
  • while not strictly my first gaming experience (my brother's friend had an atari), the hidden gun shop that my brother assured me was down the last pit of the first level of super mario bros. is my most memorable. my brother has always been able to convey a sense of wisdom and honor when explaining things to people, and the subsequent enjoyment of watching him dupe all of our other friends into jumping into that hole is easily one of the highlights of my childhood.

    no dude, really. guns. down the hole. you
  • Oddly enough (or not) it was Space Wars. []

    For the life of me I can't recall where. A pizza parlor or something.

    I remember the best strategy was "tap the buttons at random". It kept the enemy confused.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:05PM (#22053206) Homepage
    I really feel sorry for a bunch of people who will post here. I mean, what can you say to someone whose first video game experience was "Super Mario Brothers 3"? You lose so much by that. There are so many great games out there that don't require rote memorization or tens of hours of playing. Once upon a time, you could play a complete game in 5-10 minutes, and then let your friend take a turn. And there were no alternate endings, or fatalities, or secret moves that you could only find on the internet...heck, a lot of times, there were no endings at all. The game simply got harder and harder, and demanded more pure skill and downright innovation from you, until you saw your last man get destroyed, probably in a grossly unfair fashion, and then the inevitable "GAME OVER" appeared. No hacks, no save games, no shooting prostitutes in a spray of blood, no choosing Oddjob and gaining an unfair advantage.
    • by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:17PM (#22054992)
      What you say is true. The sword cuts both ways though. They were in sitting in their own poop when we were in the arcades playing great games like Tron and Joust, and we'll be sitting in our own poop when they are playing the new Nintendo Holodeck.

      Actually, we may have gotten the short end of the stick here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by edunbar93 ( 141167 )
        A few weeks ago, I saw a 14 year old kid in the food court at the mall. He was wearing a T-shirt that said "I pwn n00bs". I told him I liked his shirt. He said thanks. I told him I was pwning n00bs when he was as big as my son (who was with us. He was 12 months then). He didn't like that so much.
  • Pong, of course.

    However, after my father brought home the Commodore Pet/CPM with a whopping 64K of RAM my interest turned toward "Dungeon Of Death" or, simply, "Dungeon".

    *That* game got me interested in not only gaming but programming and changed my life, in a positive way, forever.

  • My dad's Atari 2600 in 1983. I couldn't play it well until I was five, but it cleared the trail for a long list of consoles I would later play. Yar's Revenge is STILL my favorite game.

    As for PC gaming, my dad let me play casino gmaes on an Apple IIe. I liked watching the ANSI (dunno what else to call it) horses run. :3
  • I had an Atari 2600 and my father knew someone who could *ahem* acquire *ahem* tons of games for us. The two that stick in my mind were:

    1 - Star Raiders. A 3D space simulator back in the days of blocky blobs representing people. You would plan your route on a map, guide your spaceship through hyperspace, fight enemy warships, and defend and refuel at space stations (sometimes blowing them up for fun ;-) ). At the end you got a ranking. I don't think I ever ranked above "Garbage Collector" (or something
  • When I was a kid, my mom, dad, and I used to go to the arcade almost every weekend. Before I was old enough to play any video games, my mom and I would play skee ball. I remember being so proud when I was finally able to get the ball all the way down the lane. I didn't realize until much later that I wasn't scoring any points. I used to think I must've sucked pretty badly back then until I realized that most of today's skee ball lanes are much shorter than what I was playing on. (They also didn't have
  • The night before my 6th birthday, after I had gone to bed, I could hear my parents and sister talking downstairs. Their voices were too hushed to hear what they were saying, but all of a sudden I heard my sister say really loudly, "A TV...!" So I was convinced I was getting a TV.

    The next morning I ripped open my presents. None of the packages looked big enough to hold a TV, which was kind of surprising. But I did get this weird black box with knobs [] that looked cool. When I asked where was the TV for my room
  • by Brummund ( 447393 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:09PM (#22053336)
    but back in the old days, my first memory of gaming is of me and a friend typing in some Battleship game on the []. We had no cassette recorder (or at least didn't know we could hook up a standard one, as they claim on the Wiki-page), so we had to type it in every time we wanted to start a gaming session. Still was fun, though :)

  • My first ever gaming experience was playing the original Oregon Trail and Civil War on Teletype 33, two of them would come to our school for two weeks each year. I clearly remember sitting in an empty room with the two teletanks clanking away, trying to type "BANG" as quickly as I could. Civil War was much more fun, though, being a strategic warfare logistics game.

    For my first video game experience I was extremely lucky as a kid to get to spend a day playing Empire on PLATO. Holy crap, I still can't believe
  • Moving the dial, watching the paddle move, just hooked me right there. At 9 or so, the idea of the TV being something interactive was really compelling.

    After a time, got a VCS, play it to this day. (Yeah, baby! KABOOM! is always good for a quick run or two to wake a person up!)
  • I wrote my first game... it was a 2 player ASCII sword fighting game on my VIC-20 and played it with my younger siblings. Player 1 used AS for foward back, EDC for shield elevation(leg/chest/head), RFV for sword elevation. Player 2 was similar, but on the right hand side of the keyboard, and we had to scrunch together by the keyboard. I would have been six or seven years old, I guess.

    Though I was playing monopoly and cards and whatnot before that, so it may not count.
  • My first gaming experience was on the PCjr. I remember sitting in the car with my mother while my father was at the IBM store picking up the computer.

    I remember the computer came with some sort of hangman game. My father got a Pacman clone shortly after we got the compuwe. We had a 300 baud modem and now I can't recall now how I figured out how to log onto a BBS, but I downloaded a Space Invaders clone called Space Commanders.

    At about that time we got our first commercial game, King's Quest. That was a grea
  • Atari Stunt Cycle was my first gaming experience. []

    It came out in 1977. It was a single-game console where you jumped a motorcycle over some buses. Over and over. And over.
  • First memory was a friend of mine getting an Atari 2600 for Christmas, and playing Yar's Revenge, and some dumb racing game. It was a great novelty but it didn't last long, because my friend also had a giant star wars collection. I swear he was spoiled.

    The memory of my first intense gaming experience is playing Ultima IV at school after hours. It was the first computer thing I actually OWNED. By owning, I meant that I bought some floppies from a store, punched the side to make them double sided, and the
  • First video game - Pong in a bowling alley - when they first came out
    First owned video game - family got an Atari 2600 that year
    First RPG - D&D Jan 1978 as a freshman in college
    First game like chess - well, I have a photo of me playing chess with my Dad from 1964, but I was probably playing it before that.
    First computer? IBM 360, followed by a DEC PDP 8/e/ IBM Pcs were not available until AFTER I graduated from college.

    Boy do I feel old now.
  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:14PM (#22053446)
    First game, in one of the labs at the university my father lectured at, was an ASCII clone of Space Invaders for the PET. Though that was a one off.
    • First home computer: BBC Micro.
    • First games: (All on the same disc, which implies piracy was rampant back then too - though I was four or five and really didn't know any different.)
      • SWOOP [] (Space Invaders clone)
      • A Defender [] clone called Planetoid []
      • A Pacman clone called Snapper
      • An Asteroids clone called Meteors! (these two by Acornsoft [])
      • A Donkey Kong clone called Killer Gorilla
      • A Frogger clone called Croaker
      • Chess - Model B (last three by MicroPower [])
    • Greatest game: Elite []. Given how far in advance of anything else it was for its time, it pisses all over games like Doom (which I admittedly also love) for the innovation title.

    Links included for reminiscing goodness at the expense of first post karma. ;)
  • My first PC program was 'Vegas Johnny's Draw Poker' ver 1.01 by John Comeau 1989 (Top Score Software). This is basic poker trainer that simulates a Draw game with eight players. It gives advice and odds on each hand.

    What a fantastic program! I used it until the 486 era when the internal math co-processor caused it to not run on PCs (I believe that this is the case). For fifteen years I could only run it on a very old, barely working 386 laptop. Then I found DOS BOX program that simulat
  • My first gaming experience began with arcades in the cornner when I was 8. I was absolutely addicted to Karnov and Rush 'n' Attack. Since the corner arcade was not a good place for a kid to being hanging out, my parents bought me an Atari 2600. However, it was my first Nintendo that finally wrested me from that den.
  • by DeanFox ( 729620 ) * <spam.myname@ g m a> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:16PM (#22053504)

    Unique? I guess I'm a "Dino" or whatever. I still remember the day my father brought home PONG. He was all excited and talking about electronics and stuff I didn't understand at the time. He was an engineer working Top Secret stuff for the government and was all into this. He was going on about miniaturization and that this would have taken a computer with "tubes" the size of a building before... All I wanted to do was was play it.

    You had to "hard wire" it to the antenna screws on the back of the TV and change the channel to 3. It was a box about half the size of a VCR player with two hard wired joy stick knobs. It had two slide switches one for 1-2 players and another 3 or 4 position switch for the game(s). Regular pong, advanced (small paddles), I think maybe a "break out" kind of version.

    The "ball" just went "boink" and returned after hitting something. You could put "spin" on it by turning the paddle at the same time the ball hit and it escalated in speed the longer you played. That was it. But it sure was fun! Especially the "boink" irritating my mother to the point of yelling at us to "turn than damn thing off and go outside and play" (back in the days that was still safe). Isn't sending your kid out to play now considered child abuse? [sarcasm] Ahhh... the good 'ol days

  • My first gaming experience is also my second earliest memory; my dad holding me up to reach the controls of a Moon Patrol [] arcade cabinet. He would work the speed up / slow down controls and I would shoot. =)
  • That depends on what you mean by a "game"... any game, a video game, a PC game?

    The first game (of any sort) I remember playing - War (the card game).

    The first video game, A Qix variant played on an Emerson Arcadia (or Odyssey 2? Not 100% sure about which, what with it 25+ years ago).

    My first PC game, A cheesy text-based poker game. My first real PC game, Might & Magic (the original one).

    My first online game, a pre-Circle-3 variant, of which I no longer remember the site name.
  • by zeruch ( 547271 )
    My first game was Pong. I had a guy from junior high whose father led our Boy Scout troop and was some electronics engineer - he had a full arcade version of Pong in his garage. This would have been 1983/4 or so.
    After that, I played some Atari 2600 games, but didn't really pay much attention to games until Star Control 2 and Dune 2 many years later.
  • My first computer game was Lemonade Stand on the Apple II, followed by lode runner.

    Now I'm deeply into Tabula Rasa, but had the normal run of games between then and now. I remember how excited I was when I got my Atari 2600, playing around on a friend's C64 (my Dad bought a z80 based Toshiba computer forcing me at age 12 into my programming career as it was almost immediate discontinued), another friend's Atari 5200, and of course the TRS-80. All had some neat games, and we spent countless hours typin
  • Early 80's. Things appear as targets you shoot them before they shoot you.

    Got bored with it and all it's variations after a few years haven't felt the need to get back into it since

  • I don't remember exactly, but I think it was the original Space Invaders arcade game. My dad liked to play it, and would lift me up to use the controls. I remember seeing a poster at McDonald's that they were giving away Atari home computer systems - I thought it was the coolest thing in the world - being able to play space invaders at home. My parent's got me a really cheap all-in-one LCD "computer" that had a few basic spelling and music games. Then they got me the Timex Sinclair 1000 with flight simulato
  • The first computer game I ever played was when my uncle set me down at a VT-52 (or similar -- this was around 30 years ago) connected to an acoustic coupled modem and fired up Adventure [] on the university computer system (ok, I don't remember exactly what flavor of Adventure it was ...) and sat me at it.

    In any event, I was hooked. I wonder if he ever realized what an effect this would have on me, the first time I used a computer (I think, anyways) and he was probably just looking for a way to get me ou

  • by 0racle ( 667029 )
    Around the SE, possibly a Plus, but if it was a Plus it was from where my Dad worked. We owned a SE though. I can remember Dark Castle, Crystal Quest, Might and Magic, SimCity, SimEarth. Not all of those were in '86 but others were.
  • Pong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JesseL ( 107722 ) * on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:22PM (#22053648) Homepage Journal
    It was either the Magnavox Oddyssey 3000 [] pong clone or a game called "Duck" on my Dad's Osborne 1 [].
  • "Lunar Lander" on a high-end HP calculator in '75. This was the version where the only UI was a changing number on the display. (My uncle worked for HP.)
  • Spacewar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hidannik ( 1085061 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:23PM (#22053670) Homepage
    Spacewar at an MIT Open House around 1970 or '71. It was running on a megapixel resolution black-and-white monitor. The students playing it were using handmade controllers consisting of buttons sandwiched between two rectangular pieces of clear plastic - possibly the first gamepads ever.
  • Number Munchers on an Apple IIGS. The only game. All other are merely pretenders.
  • WHAT??? (Score:5, Funny)

    by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:25PM (#22053710) Journal
    My first computer was a slide rule, you insensitive clod! Not many games you can play on a slide rule.

    I was a beta tester for dirt. They never did get all the bugs out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pseudonym ( 62607 )

      Not many games you can play on a slide rule.

      Dude, if you're old enough to remember the slide rule, you're old enough to remember Martin Gardner's column in Scientific American. There are lots of games there where the slide rule comes in handy.

      Apart from John Horton Conway's famous game, My Dad Has More Money Than Your Dad (scientific notation edition), you can use your slide rule to work out the winning strategy for Nim. I'm pretty sure that's the only slide rule game with decent AI, though.

  • by veganboyjosh ( 896761 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:28PM (#22053784)
    But my parents always seemed to be one or two steps behind when it came to technology of any kind. We only got an atari 2600 once all my friends had NES.

    I guess the guy we got the 2600 from was some sort of electrical engineer or something. One of the games we got was pinball, and this guy had modded one controller to have left and right momentary on button switches. I soon figured out that these buttons were basically just hardwired into the left and right switches on the joystick. It didn't take long to use them for other games. Once, while playing Pac-man, I hit both of them at once. (This, in effect, was the same as moving the joystick to the left and the right simultaneously, something that's impossible with just the joystick.)

    All of a sudden, Pac-man went left, through all the walls, and then got stuck in one of them. all the dots disappeared, and I moved to the next level. That led to me challenging my sister to games of Pac-man, as long as I got the pinball modded joystick.
  • by StaticEngine ( 135635 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:23PM (#22055136) Homepage
    Sure, I played some game about a boulder rolling down a hill on a Commodore PET, and I played Pong on an Atari 2600, along with Gyruss, Asteroids, and Tempest at the arcade, pizza parlor and local supermarket, but the game I really remember as being intesely great was Dragon's Lair, the Laserdisc game. I first played this at an arcade in the mall in Central Islip, NY when I was nine or ten years old, and after plunking $1 into it for two games (because, you know, it cost an astonishing $0.50!!), I walked away with my knees shaking from excitement.

    I remember thinking at the time that this was the future of games. Not the one choice per second, or the limits, but the sound, the pictures, and the immersion that Dragon's Lair offered. No longer was I simply pushing giant colored pixels around a screen, I was a real character, as real as any Saturday Morning Cartoon, on a real adventure facing off against fully realized environments and traps. Sure, they were the same every time, and there was very little "game" there. That didn't matter. It was the experience, the sheer emotional rush, that really got to me.

    There were games I'd played before Dragon's Lair, but that was the first "game experience" that produced a real response, and it's something I'll never forget.
  • by ellem ( 147712 ) <ellem52 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @06:03PM (#22058094) Homepage Journal
    Pong! then Hack then Adventure... but really immersed? Really engaged? Zork. I didn't eat. It was all I cared about. When Zork II came out I "tested" every possible permutation of the spinning room. I wasn't even playing the game, I was seeing what would happen... ::Fear ::I don't know the word fear

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson