I’ve played my fair share of console and computer games. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve played way too much and I think to myself. “Gee whiz , would I be a different person today if I was never exposed to this?”
In short, I think I would be a very different person. One of the primary reasons I became interested in computers and eventually information technology in general was because of video games. In its early hey day, getting a PC game to run on an old 486 IBM Clone was a challenge. The primary limit to getting a game to run was memory, or ‘conventional memory’. It would take hours to get a game working. The more cool stuff in a game – the more hours spent squeezing every single available byte of memory out of the computer.
If you needed assistance, finding it was hard because technical knowledge was even scarcer than it is today. At that time, the internet was confined to universities and major telecommunication companies, so no help forums. The only public alternative was the local Bulletin Board Systems, or public servers that you contacted with a dial-up modem where people could chat, share files, and play games, which had maybe 10 users online at a time.
As a side effect of really wanting to play PC games, I had to learn how to configure and setup complicated, memory hogging, and sometimes buggy programs. This eventually got me exposed to the earliest forms of networking technology with modems and dial-up servers. If it weren’t for great PC games, I would’ve never taken an interest in computers.