Friday, May 1, 2015

My Big Idea Pt. 1

Mortal Kombat II

About four years ago I was working as a bartender in a small restaurant/resort. The owner had a few dated arcade games that I'd sometimes play after work. One day he came to me and offered to give me a broken Mortal Kombat II game, and I loaded it on a trailer, and transported it to my parents' garage.

MK II in my parents' garage.
Upon getting it home, the first thing I did was open it up and look inside.

It was amazing.

Before opening the machine, I had always assumed arcade games ran on magic. The act of opening it was one of the most empowering things I've done. Seeing how the wires connected, and realizing that I could (with some time and money) make my own, made me feel powerful. Games weren't magic, they were technology, and I could control that. I felt as though I had been let in on some cosmic secret, and I knew in that moment I would stop at nothing give others the same experience.

A couple of months later, I didn't have enough money to make some repairs on my car, and I reluctantly sold the MK II machine. I almost entirely forgot about the whole thing.

Time Runs Out

Three years later. I was working as a substitute teacher (I still am) and I ended up in a fourth grade classroom. I saw a student drawing a picture, and I asked him if he could draw me a picture. The next week he gave me this masterpiece:
Time Runs Out

I knew that this picture wanted to be a video game more than anything, and that weekend I went home and made it one. You can play it here. It was one of my first attempts at writing a game in JavaScript, and looking back there's a lot I could do to improve it, but I still think it came out ok.

The next week I showed the student the game. He was ecstatic. I watched him play a game that he made, and saw a look on his face that reminded me of the time I opened the MK II game. For him, video games were just this little pocket of magic the existed on the internet or on an X-Box, but in that moment they became something he could do. He was empowered. It was awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment