Saturday, August 11, 2007

The enduring appeal of arcade games

Fun article over at the Times about the continuing appeal of classic video games. The writer doesn't quite seem to get it, but isn't taking the usual condescending look-at-the-geeks tone that happens all too often. And actually, the answer is laid out right there:

“I was looking for something that I could be in control of,” Mr. Wiebe, now a schoolteacher, said recently in his kitchen while he heated a bowl of clam chowder for his 10-year-old daughter. “I felt like everything in my life was being decided by others. Donkey Kong was something I could do, and if I failed, I would have no one to blame but myself.”

Cf: The Hacker Manifesto.

And yes, that is often exactly what makes programming so appealing. The challenge of getting the machine to do something, something fun, something cool, something amazing. And if it doesn't work, it's because I made a mistake, no other reason. A way of taking control of at least one small corner of the world.

No comments: