My father’s company has to do with the manufacturing of computers and my mother was a computer programmer. Hence, my earliest memories have to do with computers and games. There’s even a magazine photograph of my father carrying out a big Apple II box out of a computer store, with my brother and me in tow. We were treated to the likes of Flight Simulator, Castle Wolfenstein, and other early Apple II games. Sadly, the Apple II died when I took it apart and couldn’t make it work again.
When we got PC’s, there was Wizardry, which led to my love affair with fantasy titles. I struggled through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But with my rudimentary knowledge of programming and IF… THEN clauses, I started writing my own text adventures with sci fi/fantasy themes, ones that I could win 😉 On the Atari 2600 system, my brother always trounced me at Mission Command, so my father would play with me on easy mode. Most of all, though, I loved playing with my Nintendo handhelds, the Game & Watch games from Japan. At the arcades, I always found time for Centipede, Space Invaders, and Ms. Pac-Man.
One of my earliest triumphs is wiring a 8-bit memory with relays and la, la, la…..it worked!
Eventually, my brother went off to M.I.T. to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Although I followed suit, I did not major in computer programming, but I had a solid background, thanks to my father. All through childhood, I was surrounded by the latest technology and the knowledge of technology. I learned about hardware, software, and the scientific method. I played with punch cards when little and programmed spelling quizzes in middle school.
In computer games, I’ve merged an understanding of computer programming and the visual arts. I’m glad that nobody ever told me that girls couldn’t or shouldn’t be techy. And I love working in this industry.
Thanks, Dad, for your love and support.