Friday, April 30, 2010

Game Over! Play Again?

The computer and I shook hands politely for the very first time circa 1989, when I was about 9 years old. Our friendship led us through several complicated sounding activities, like creating designs with Logo, some programming with BASIC, and a few others which seem to escape my memory at present. But above all, the friendship introduced me to the wonderful world of games.

An interesting point to note in the games we played is that you usually have some sort of control over what goes on. Take for instance this game we used to play back then called "Adventures in Math" where you'd go around solving math puzzles in a castle like place and collect money and diamonds in the process. Of course once you've solved a certain number of questions, you will be led out to the exit and your game ends, but if you're there to win (the school actually turned it into a competition - the highest scoring team gets a spiffy looking trophy and may be mistaken for an athlete, but hey, who cares?) then you go back and look for unopened doors, solving more and more math questions and get more money and diamonds.

Now, I brought up this issue about computers and games to highlight and tie in some other obscure point, but I can't seem to write it here without seeming sinisterly suicidal... (I'm NOT, well maybe sometimes, but mostly not) The thing is, games back then, especially the types we call arcade games tend to end very fast when the 3 or 5 'lives' provided die, and sometimes, say you're playing a game, and you made a mistake (probably you can score 2000 points with one 'life' but you only get 1000 points) so you just haphazardly spend all the other 'lives' to get a Game Over! notification and start afresh. I know I did that quite often. I don't know... I just kind of wish life too was like that, you know. Get this one over with, because I don't quite like it at the moment and start afresh. Something like that...

As for the video below, I used to play this game a long time ago, and although I have nothing against frogs, catapulting them onto the knives, or into the crocodile's mouth or even with the piranhas brought me great joy as they were torn apart with all goriness whenever I was down. The game disappeared along with the disuse of the old computer back in 2007 but I managed to trace back a downloadable version of the game on my laptop recently. However it doesn't seem to provide the same joy it used to once upon a time. I suspect the spacebar of a laptop is not as fun to tap as the spacebar of a keyboard belonging to a PC.


  1. WOW!!!!! 9 years old??? I think i wasonly exposed to the computer when i was in my late teens...which would explain the whole 'technologically challenged' bit i guess :p

  2. Started at 9, ended at 12... had a 5 year gap in between before I started again, and surprisingly, the computer had become so much more friendlier to use in my absence.

  3. ... the school actually turned it into a competition - the highest scoring team gets a spiffy looking trophy and may be mistaken for an athlete, but hey, who cares?

    I lol'd.

    I played a game much like that when I was in school also, but they never made it into a competition. Probably why I'm so terrible at math.

  4. They should have, then.... It's more fun when it's a competition. :)

  5. 目標是什麼不重要,目標能產生什麼樣的效果才重要..................................................

  6. haha now i know how old are you since i was in standard 3 in 1990.

    i touched computer for the first time when i was 6 years old.

    i still remember the big floppy disc at that time and only from Verbatim.

    i still remember during that time the screen was only green and no other color.

    my favorite games during that time (well, you don't have much choice) were dig dug, pacman and wheel of fortune :)

    the windows was funny, because you can see all the windows on your desktop.

    i was expert in MS DOS since that was the only way for you to format, copy and everything. but how many people know how to use it nowadays? :)

    eh, i think when i was 6 years old, there was no windows yet. jees! can't remember :)

    i remember BASIC with its blue screen haha!

    Word pro and Lotus? or Word Star?

    the computer was damn heavy.

    thanks to dad who works as a lab assistant and managed to bring back the computer during school holiday. maybe, that's why i love computer so much :)

    i like this post a lot!

  7. Oh yes... the memories, where floppy discs were really floppy, the black screen with green fonts. The comp lab only had one colour screen, and even then the colours were never as vivid as what we have now...

    I remember a few other games as well, Donkey Kong, Ping Pong...

    And yes, we did Word Star and also used a program called fortune teller which said I could die at the age of 34 due to illness!

    Thanks for liking the post. It's fun reminiscing :)

  8. I used a computer for the very first time in college. And didn't get one of my own until grad school. And yet, somehow I've managed to become reasonably proficient in my dotage.

  9. It all depends on how we perceive it, I guess... If you want to use it, you can! And a little knowledge on minor repair work shouldn't be too bad, either...

  10. I feel very young after reading all the comments :)


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