Dig up the classics you remember using the magic of the Internet.
So you’ve set up your 1980’s vintage personal computer or found a way to emulate it on your own PC using some of the other hacks in this chapter, but now you’re wondering what you can do with it. Hmm, let’s think back on all the ways you once used your thousand-dollar piece of high technology. Hmm… doing your taxes? No. Making colorful flyers? No. Spreadsheets? Hahaha! Wait a minute, I’ve got it… playing games!
Is it any coincidence that the early personal computer industry grew out of video games? Was there really that much differentiating game consoles and computers at the time? Seriously, what difference was there between the Atari 400 “computer” and the Odyssey2 “game console”? They both had membrane keyboards that are impossible to do any substantial typing with, they both used ROM cartridges as their main media, and they were both used almost entirely for playing games. One just cost a lot more and the games looked prettier.
Sure, this might be explained by the fact that game companies wanted to grow the personal computer market by leveraging the strength of their existing brands. But the cynic in me says that game companies just knew they could make more money on higher-end gaming systems if they convinced people that what they were actually buying was a high-tech learning tool that would aid their day-to-day productivity and make their kids into geniuses. Then once the sale was rung ...