Play it again: home coders’ month

play it again 24 feb 2014

This month is home coders month on the Popular Memory Archive.  That means we’re discussing the games that ordinary people wrote themselves, at home, during the 1980s.  In a special three part feature New Zealand designer Carl Muller shares his memories of how he got started.

In Part 1 Carl tells us about where he first encountered computers as a child in Fiji and how he created his first games (and made his first sale) typing listings onto the display machines at his New Zealand home town’s computer shop.

These are some of my memories of the golden early games of computer and video games, when it seemed I had so much free time…
In the early 1980s I was growing up in the tropical heat of Fiji. One category of businesses that often had both glossy reading material and air-conditioning were travel agencies. On my time off from school, I would go into travel agencies and airline offices to cool-down, look at the plane models, read the brochures, and dream of becoming a travel agent and making peoples’ dreams come true. Spending time there, I noticed the glowing green screens that the agents used, containing cryptic columns of text and numbers. I was entranced and wanted to find out more…

Did you write your own game, or play those of your mates?  Please tell us about it in the blog or upload your materials to help us build an archive dedicated to 1980s games and gaming.