by Ben Blattberg

(reprinted from Winter 1997)

I almost cried the first time I saw a CD-ROM. Games are fun and good; they’re the dough of my cybercake. But CD-ROM cinematics are like heaven sent icing. It was so beautiful it might as well have been perfect. It probably was. I know definitely where it was: a friend’s house.

Did I mention the graphics were mag-great-beaut-etc. They were all above & more. But as the sights streamed into my eyes, to balance the near tears that were streaming out, methinks I heard a bit of a voice tell me:

“Now that you know what greatness tastes like, everything else will be bile to your tongue.”

And I knew in a way that it was true. And the same voice said again:

“Nothing is good or the opposite of good but thinking makes it so.”

It would have gone on, probably with something from Confucius or Play-Doh, but I stopped it by simply accepting what it said.

I remember my 512K Macintosh and the game “Asteroids,” where you’re a little ship blowing apart rocks. I loved that game.

Then I got “Dark Castle.”

Then a new computer.

More Ram.

A color monitor.

“spaceward Ho!”

“Simant.”

And now I was watching “Command and Conquer,” with beautiful colors + sounds + interface.

The near tears would no longer come. My eyes were dry. This rose would soon lose its bloom as soon as the next game came out. The voice was right.

But that morning I went home and installed “Asteroids.” I played it for awhile. It was fun. Black and white graphics, no sound, but it was fun.