Kings Quest

I remember when my dad brought home the first computer my family ever owned.  It was a Tandy.  It took about an hour to boot up, and seemed like a box that I knew had a lot inside it – things I didn’t have the knowledge to access.  We learned the little tap-dance of command prompts to play games like Kings Quest (run on the big old floppy discs that we had to continually shuffle at the prompting of the game).  When my dad wasn’t home, we would play the copy of Leisure Suit Larry that he didn’t know we knew he had.  I thought it was so scandalous!

Most of the time, though, I felt illiterate when using the computer.  I was constantly messing up the command prompts and felt locked out.

Now I am considered a bit of a techie by my peers.  I find it a bit funny, though…I think that it is more the work of many years of improving software design, user experience design, and layers of user friendliness that have made it possible for me to use computers with some modicum of success.

The 7 year old kid is still in there – the one that knows that there is way more to this little box than I am able to access.  I still feel a little locked out from time to time – the computer and I can talk a bit more easily now, but I it is in translation, and our jokes often go over each others heads.

4 comments

  1. Hi Josh,
    Loved your “locked out” and “lost in translation” analogies. Exactly how I have felt and often still do. I get excited when I learn more things but that excitement is tempered by my knowing I have only scratched the surface. I believe one of the first things we need to accept is that we will never master all technology, rather we need to choose our best options and use them effectively.
    Catherine

  2. Leisure Suit Larry!!! I remember knowing of that game and always wanting to play it for exactly the reason you noted – it seemed scandalous!! I wish I could go back to all of these old games and try them out now! Along with Catherine, I too enjoyed your “locked out” and “lost in translation” comments. I too often feel a little (or fairly) lost as I delve into new technology experiences, although I’m getting a little better with each course. I often feel like just as I’m getting the “hang” of one technology, a new one comes along. I just signed up for Facebook over Christmas break (finally…) and the response I had from my 18 year old son was, “That’s so old school. You should have created an account on Instagram at least.” Just when I thought I was catching up… 🙂

    Mary

  3. Great picture Joshua-they help to enliven our posts. I liked how you recalled, “I felt illiterate when using the computer” as I am sure many can take into a similar “having been there” feeling. Thank you for sharing, Samia

  4. Kings Quest, Space Quest and Police Quest were pretty amazing games for their time. I think it was Sierra that made those games and they were the first to have a command line to type in what you wanted your character to do. I still remember that astro chicken game in Space quest, a game within a game, interesting to think kids can now create these types of games with not a lot of programming knowledge with the amazing platforms we have now.

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