People often ask me what they have to do to get a job making video games. If you asked me that today, I’d tell you I haven’t the faintest idea because the industry has changed so much from when I started. Ironically, when I was a young programmer just out of college, I was asking that same question, only it was more out of idle curiosity since I didn’t believe it could ever happen to me.
Video games were pretty new then. I can still remember them bringing the first video game into the game room of my student union. The year was 1973, my freshman year in college, and I was studying computer engineering. That first game was Computer Space. It was followed fairly rapidly by a succession of crude black and white “blip” games (as I call them because the graphics all looked like white blips on a black screen). Pong, Breakout, Tank and more. Crude as hell but we’d never seen anything like them before and people threw quarters into them like crazy. But to actually make one of these games? The earliest ones didn’t even have CPUs – they were hard-wired! And I didn’t know the first thing about electronics as a freshman.
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