My first exposure to screensavers came hand-in-hand with my first home computer experience; Windows 3.1. And just like the neuro-plasticizing desktop wallpapers on offer, the star field simulation screensaver blew my 15-year-old mind.
An excellent Youtube video by Nostalgia Nerd focuses on pre-Windows DOS screen savers and celebrates the fact that “Screensavers [have been] saving our CRT screens from phosphor burns since the dark ages”.
Looking back at 1989’s mesmerising “Bug Fry” to the virgin-identifying Matrix screen saver, I realise that I could probably have coded half of this shit in QBasic in under half-an-hour. Still, they were great for their time, and it’s an reminder of how far computer graphics have come.
(After Dark “flying toasters” screensaver featured image obtained from https://winworldpc.com/)
“The World Video Game Hall of Fame — located in Rochester, New York at the Strong Museum of Play — has announced its third class of games to be honored with induction: Donkey Kong, Halo: Combat Evolved, Pokémon Red and Green, and Street Fighter 2″…. “The other eight 2017 finalists were Final Fantasy 7, Microsoft Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, Myst, Portal, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Wii Sports” (polygon.com).
The first time that I saw Donkey Kong was on a black and white Rank Arena TV set and a console both built almost entirely out of wood. It is my earliest memory of seeing a video game. And I will never forget the rush of elation that I felt when I landed my first dragon punch in Street Fighter 2.
I have tried, but I cannot find rhyme or reason in the strobe-lit visual base-colour cacophony that is Pokemon. And to be honest, I’ve felt somewhat of an indifference towards first-person shooters since my mind exploded on my first play through of the original shareware Doom.
What game would you have inducted? And if it isn’t already in this list, tell us why the hell it should be.