My Dad, Steve Jobs, Wizardry and Me


In the fall of 1982, I took a train trip with my dad. I was 14. We traveled to San Francisco to a computer show at the Moscone Center. We stayed at a tiny hotel just off the Tenderloin district. Dad taught me how to put my wallet in my front pocket to keep it safe in the big city. I took my first taxi ride. We went to a restaurant called MacArthur Park. But what I remember most is the huge underground hall packed with booths full of personal computers from companies like Apple and Commodore, external floppy drives (140K!), keyboards, green and amber monochrome monitors, software, and games. My job was to pick out games for our new Apple II computer. The two games I can remember choosing were Choplifter and Wizardry. That copy of Wizardry sits in my office today, still in the original box. At the time I never pictured myself working in the gaming industry, because there was no such industry. Games were created by one or two people.

I used that Apple computer for a few years in high school, but my family quickly switched to MS-DOS PCs, and I didn’t touch an Apple product for more than a decade. Fast forward to 1994. I was working in the game industry. My first task: take an existing Windows title and port it to Macintosh. For the next four years, I used Macs and Windows PCs interchangeably. I didn’t quite realize the effect that Steve Jobs had on my life until recently. If it wasn’t for Apple, I might never have played Wizardry. If it wasn’t for Apple, I might never have had this amazing gaming industry gig. Thanks, Steve. And thanks, Dad, for that SF train trip.

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