Monday, September 17, 2012

Memory Lane Monday: My First Computer Game

While I wasn't introduced to gaming consoles until I was about six, my family was one of the few I knew who had a personal desktop computer at home.  My dad mostly used it for work, but my parents were fairly keen on me learning how to use said computer.  I don't know if it was amazing foresight on my father's part, or if he was just paranoid that I would become too curious and break the computer, but he taught me how to use our IBM when I was just three years old. Today, it is quite common for children as young as six months old to have a basic grasp of using technology like smart phones, but when I was a child, I was the only kid I knew whose parents had a computer, yet alone the wherewithal to teach me how to use it properly. My parents saw our computer as a learning tool.  I saw it as a game. A mysterious and wonderful game.  I remember being three, sitting on my dad's lap in our basement while he taught me how to use MS-DOS and showed me the proper way to handle the awesomeness that was the floppy disk.

That's a whole 100 KB, baby! Yeah!!!
My dad would let me "help" him work on the computer often enough. He would tell me what to type into MS-DOS to open his program or spreadsheet and then let me type or push the Enter button when he needed me to. Maybe it was my incessant prodding that I ask to "help" him on the computer that wore him down to buy me games-only educational ones at my mom's insistence-but whatever it was, I'm so glad he did.  Ernie and Rubber Duckie were my favorite characters on Sesame Street and thankfully those characters were featured in their very own logic/puzzle learning game, Ernie's Big Splash. I adored this game. The game's purpose was to teach children basic logic and directions. Ernie would start in one random area of the screen in his bathtub, and the player's job was to get Rubber Duckie from his spout and soap dish starting point to Ernie's bathtub using a combination of water-based mechanisms on puzzle pieces.  Once Rubber Duckie was back with Ernie, there would be a little song and dance and much rejoicing! Yay! The best part was that the mechanisms/puzzle pieces the game gave you were each different and whimsical. Sometimes it was just your basic water slide or pipe, but there was also a crocodile, a boat and even a washing machine.

And don't forget those stunning 1987 graphics. Bitchin.
Muppet Wiki
Ernie's Big Splash opened the door to other educational games (like Reader Rabbit and the Super Solver series) which my mom was happy to buy for me because the games were educational in nature.  But, Ernie lit a tiny spark in my wee soul and whet my appetite for more games. Games, games all the time! But more access to more games would take a lot of convincing on my part. Yup. Just another 6 years and I would have my very own game console. I wore 'em down good. I'm nothing if not persistent and stubborn.
 So, thank you, Mom and Dad, for obliging me my obsession with video games, even when you didn't (and maybe still don't) quite understand what an impact it had on who I am today.

Muppet Wiki

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lady!

    I tagged you in a post today!


    Humor me?



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