Monday, 4 May 2015
The book itself isn't coming out until September, but I'm already looking forward to Michael W. Clune's Gamelife, a memoir of growing up through 1980s computer games. Partly this is because I'm pathetically right in the middle of the target demographic, having spent a ludicrous amount of time in my pre-teenage years typing variations on "LOOK ROOM" and "HIT ORC" into a Vic-20, while it responded "SYNTAX ERROR. READY:" with blithe indifference. Partly this is because Clune's previous memoir, about heroin addiction and academic life, White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin, was excellent. And partly because it has such a witty and clever cover (designer as yet unknown):
White Out's cover was also rather good, if less original:
Text adventures were weirdly compelling despite (because of?) their limitations. I remember the ridiculously difficult Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy game, which killed you at almost every arbitrary choice, and a King Solomon's Mines game that responded to commands it didn't know with "YOU TALKING PIDGIN, BWANA?". I even spent a vast amount of time writing my own text adventures in BASIC, destined to remain unplayed by anyone besides my indulgent father.
Clune's book will surely be more interesting than that last paragraph. It would have to be, really.