The first computer or console you played – remembering yesteryear’s gaming…

10 print “ZX Spectrum was awesome!” 20 goto 10…

Time to go back a few years. Well four decades in fact, it was late December 1984, that time the man in the red suit and white fluffy beard appeared with toys of total epic (Optimus Prime) proportions. Band Aid, Wham! and Frankie Goes To Hollywood stacked up the UK music charts in place or another and ET and other unsold Atari game cartridges, computers and consoles, the aftershock of the video games crash had spent the first of a 30 years buried in a New Mexico landfill.

Thousands of jobs lost with business going bankrupt, but as an 11-year kid none of that registered, money, debt, bills to pay – all was good because I was an owner of a ZX Spectrum 48K+ and was about to play games such as Wanted: Monty Mole, Chequered Flag, Boulder Dash and Jet Set Willy! Well there was a slight hiccup – the computer I got from the man with the red suit was faulty, some keys when pressed never registered, so I had to wait to get a replacement a week or so later. My big brother taking me to the shopping mall in his Vauxhall Viva, at the time he rocked a blonde mullet and had a thirst for Marillion and Rush – never a gamer, although he did play Dynamite Dan and Crash Bandicoot some years later, apart from that, he was a amature footballer and curry eater, something my dad hated.

The ZX Spectrum was like a best friend, I had good mates at school, some Commodore 64 owners, others Acorn Electron and one whose dad was an electronic genius and built his own computers and was into ham radio. When not learning anything at school because I was not that clever, and to be frank – schooling back then, teachers only really catered for those that had something about them, there were no 1–1 sessions. So if you were thick, you got left behind.

At the press of a few keys (load””) and the starting the cassette player my friend the ZX Spectrum took me on adventures that in today’s quest for pixel willy waving and money sucking seem far more magical and trailblazing, maybe there needs to be another video games crash to cull the deadwood and reset the order of playmakers that could do with not being in the game.

My first Computer was the ZX Spectrum 48K+. What was yours?

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10 PRINT "HELLO, WORLD"; 20 GOTO 10