When the first PC was in our living room in 1997, I was very happy to have actually convinced my parents that I would never be able to study for school again without a computer. They had even given me the latest Encarta-CD. Finally, nothing stood in the way of my education. The fact that they had also given me a disk with four video games was also quite nice, but I tried to direct my joy more in the direction of the encyclopedia, so that my lie would not be exposed on the first evening.
There were two boxes connected to the computer. These had a problem: they did not work properly. The volume control was broken. They only knew two levels: “Off” and “Full up”. You might say that they had all the important functions, but my parents didn’t think so. Already during the first week they stated with a repeatedly pronounced “Turn the shit off!” They realized that learning can be quite noisy. Especially when it’s more like playing.
The games on the disk were called The Incredible Adventures of Mad Mac, Wari Strategy, Brix 3 Superlogic and Mega Dschump!. I sorted the games in the above list by frequency of “Turn the shit off!”-shouts. If there was one game that my parents liked, it was Mad Mac. That one didn’t run and shut down my computer right after the game started. The next two weren’t as bad as number one: Mega Dschump!.
Imagine playing basketball, only without the basket and all the newfangled bells and whistles. So basically, you’re just dribbling. With a wooden ball. Medicine ball sized. On a wooden table. In an empty open-plan warehouse. This is Mega Dschump!. You control a bouncing ball through a level, collecting points and trying to reach the goal. Totally unspectacular. But it was my first PC game. And therefore totally spectacular.
I had no idea about computers at that time. I basically had to teach myself everything. One day I looked at the files on the floppy disk and saw that there were not only four .exe files on it, but others as well. What was that nonsense about? The .exe files had the names of the games on them. So these were important to start them. Logical. The others? They had weird extensions. I’m sure they weren’t important. What did it look like on the disk? Messy? On my computer? No. Not with me.
I deleted the files.
From that moment on, I couldn’t install Mega Dschump! anymore. I was terribly sad. And learned about file formats. And to tame my obsession with order. That’s why there is now a backup folder in my backup folder in my backup folder.
It took about fifteen years before I could play Mega Dschump! again. Fortunately, there are great sites on the Internet that collect old games and offer them for download. And since my current boxes now have more features than my first ones, my parents don’t have to yell “Turn that shit off!” either. Still, I think I can still hear them now and then when I play Mega Dschump!.
In Mega Dschump! you bounce around as a blue ball and enjoy the “yeah”s that sound whenever you collect points.
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