the Mouth of Madness:
By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
What's new this week in loonygames? Ask our loony editor.
efore I get into this week's column, there's a bit of loonygames news to cover first. No doubt you've noticed by now that Penny Arcade isn't on this week's schedule. From now on, you'll be able to find your favorite games-related comic strip at their own domain, Penny-Arcade.com (as I write this, it's still not live, but it'll be up as soon as the DNS switches over). We've loved having them here, and wish them luck in the future. Don't forget us, guys!
In other news, I'm pleased to announce that in the coming weeks one of my favorite columns from the start of loonygames is going to be making a comeback. After a long period of hiatus, Birth of a Gamer will be returning, with its new author, Heather Haselkorn. Look for that in a few weeks. With that out of the way, let's get into this week's 'rant, shall we?
As I am a child of the eighties, it's not much of a stretch to say that without Apple, I probably would never have gotten into computers when I did, and ultimately wouldn't be doing what I am today. See, when I was a kid, I had an Atari 2600. It was great…this little box that would conjure images up on my television that could be manipulated with a joystick. These games were more than just dinky graphics to me…they were pure magic. I didn't know how they did it, and I never expected to learn (to this day, I've only got a mild knowledge of how those early systems worked).
But around the time I turned five, there was a revolution starting up. I still remember clearly the first time I saw an Apple. It was an Apple II…the original dream machine. Here was a box that not only could do the same sort of magic as the Atari, but was able to do so in a way that was easily accessible to me and my friends. I had a friend who owned one, and when he first showed it to me I was in awe. But what totally blew me away, was when he ran a program he had written himself. It wasn't anything particularly impressive, hell, it probably just spit back your name when you typed it in. But what it represented was the opening of the curtain. Suddenly computers seemed less intimidating to me…and seemed that much more special.
It didn't take too much nagging on my (and my sister's) part before we finally convinced our parents that we needed a PC of our own. My parents bought us an Apple IIC (or ][C, or //C depending on how you like to type it), and before I knew it, I was writing programs that ran something like this:
(Hey, I was six, what do you want from me?)
By the time the Macintosh was released, I was a hardcore Apple II junkie, knee deep in Infocom games, Castle Wolfenstein, and other games of the day. The Mac was beyond anything I had ever seen. As I looked at it, I immediately recognized that this was where things were going…and I liked that. Here was a computer that wasn't intimidating, and best of all…it was from the same people who got me hooked to begin with. I never did own a Macintosh (until years later when I got a PowerBook) but it never failed to impress me.- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here at loonygames.
Credits: From the Mouth of Madness logo illustrated by and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. From the Mouth of Madness is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't do it...or we'll just forget about you. Let's see how you like it.