You might have heard about the world’s first PC game called Donkey.bas developed by Microsoft’s daddy Bill Gates in 1981. Our current tech sensation Elon Musk also created his first video game at the age of 12 while living in South Africa.
It was years before he started to think about electric cars and cheap ways to develop Martian community. Maybe, the initial idea might have clicked when he was young because the game is based on spaceships.
Musk’s game called “Blaster” was never released. It made a brief appearance in the form of a screenshot in Ashlee Vace’s book ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for Fantastic Future,’ published in 2015.
A former Google engineer named Tomas Lloret who currently works at SpaceX has given a new life to Blaster by creating its HTML5 version that works in any modern browser. He used the source code of the arcade game published by the magazine PC and Office Technology in 1984. Back then, the publication paid $500 to Elon Musk.
The gameplay is simple, and you might have played similar games. You get five spaceships to destroy the enemy by firing shots at them. They can return the favor by throwing something called ‘status beam.’
Blaster might fall behind when compared to other arcade games, but it’s a lot from a 12-year-old boy living in the early age of computers. He gained the required skills to build the video game in just five days by finishing a “how to program” guide that was designed to be finished in six months.
It was “a trivial game…but better than Flappy Bird”, Musk was quoted saying.