Happy New (80s Games) Year!

Manic Miner

OK, that’s not quite what people usually say. But I’ve just come across a really cool website full of retro 1980s computer games: http://www.80stopgames.com/site/

I haven’t spent much time on it yet – just enough to establish just how cool it really is – but I predict many a wasted hour in 2014 will be spent revisiting those blocky, bleepy and ridiculously addictive video games of my youth.

And I think that even the younger generation will appreciate some of these. Eighties games may have been primitive by the standards of today’s smooth, sprawling, uber-reality experiences; but the growth of mobile and the demand for compact, bite-size fun has led to huge success for Angry Birds and the like. Games that don’t take hours to learn and days to play. Games that are just fun. I don’t have loads of free time and my brain gets taxed quite enough elsewhere; so when I play a computer game, I don’t want to deal with yet another big complicated thing to add to all the other big complicated things in my life.

That fascination with retro technology and the simple delights of old-style gaming was my key inspiration for writing BASIC Boy. That book is about the clash of cultures between today’s sophisticated, ultra-connected teens and their 1980s forerunners. (With a vengeful, time-travelling ghost thrown in, naturally.)

I hope you have a fantastic 2014. With or without Manic Miner.

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