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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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The Sins of Youth

I have never taken any courses in computer programming; I am completely self-taught. This is not so impressive; a great many good programmers are self-taught. However, I taught myself back in the 1960s, when programming languages were more primitive. I learned FORTRAN, a clumsy language designed for scientific programming. If you use variable names like “I,” “J,” and “K” for index variables for loops, you are using one legacy of FORTRAN: It defined all variables beginning with the letters I through N to be integers, while everything else was a floating point variable.

Now, learning to program using FORTRAN was rather like learning to drive in a demolition derby, and I seem to have learned all the wrong lessons. My youthful exuberance ...

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