Lemmings

I'm a sucker for computer nostalgia. I remember the days of the ZX81, the Commodore 64, the unusual Jupiter Ace, and the TI994a. Sure it was BASIC programming (or mysteriously FORTH for the Ace) but it carried genes of the essential logical grammar of C++, Perl or Javascript or whatever you're having yourself. So I don't usually get misty-eyed about the early PC days when computers began their evolution into the press-button ATM machines for non-literate users we have now.

But I do remember Lemmings! In the preinternet days of 1991, it was harder to get the pulse of the international gaming community. A few rare magazines came and went. The Tandy electronic components shop ended its brief run on O'Connell Street. NIHE had only just become the University of Limerick. The old standards like Leisure Suit Larry were getting staid. And then someone passed around a copy of Lemmings. I had played and enjoyed many games before this, but I hadn't understood the term 'gaming addiction' until I played the opening few levels of this idiotic masterpiece.

I won't bore you with the technical details (here) of the game (play) and its history, but I will show you a museum piece that gives me a little thrill: an original 3.5" floppy-disk from 26/9/89 containing the development demo of Lemmings. I thought I'd never live to see artifacts like this brought blinking into the light of day…

If this gives you any kind of a buzz, be SURE to visit the Computer History Museum website, or even the actual building in Mountain View if you're ever in Northern California.