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Letting go of history

Last weekend, I was in New York City on business and decided to stay a few extra days to actually enjoy the city. Last June, I took a contract at Bloomberg LP writing financial software to expand my programming repertoire. Due to my schedule, I spent my first New York weekend (The 3 day 4th of July weekend) in Baltimore, MD, the next weekend in Seattle for a Bachelorette party and the third weekend to attend the actual wedding. The fourth weekend was in San Diego for the San Diego ComicCon.

Well, my contract ended (bummer) and so I had no need of the room I was renting and I went back to Seattle to focus on iPhone development (A classic title is coming back soon!). Since my 5th weekend was free, I flew to Las Vegas Nevada for the Classic Games Expo, which I mentioned in my last update.

I flew back to NYC for an interview, and since I still had my room here, I intentionally made the trip last over the weekend. Nothing like a pre-paid place to stay to keep the costs down. I intended to make the most of my time here and take in the experience that is New York. I asked my friend Mara to come up and hang out with me for Saturday night nightclubbing and shopping on 5th ave. on Sunday. We had a blast.

Since the creators of the classic video game museum, Joe Santulli and John Hardie, lived in the New York City area, I met up with them on Saturday morning, and they took me to the store room where they have some of the artifacts they are going to put on display for the Video Game Museum they will be opening in the Silicon Valley area of California. In my possession, I had some one-of-a-kind artifacts from my days as the National Space Invaders Championship in 1980 and development hardware I made when I was working for The Avalon Hill Game Company in 1981.

I've had these things sitting in a box for 30 years. They were very personal to me, yet I knew they represented a time in the game industry that's being slowly forgotten. Occassionally, I search for references to the video game contest I won and am finding less and less information on it. It's almost as if it never happened, yet it was a huge deal in 1980, with TV news spots, massive promotions, writeups in all the gaming magazines and today, almost nothing remains.

So, with a bit of meloncholy, I gathered up my most prized possession, a photo of me in the Whittier Daily News that my father had framed, with the article talking about me winning the contest. I gave them the framed clipping because they are going to give it a home in their museum so that long after I'm gone, my contributions to the industry will be remembered. When I return to Seattle, I'm taking that box of memories and shipping it to New York (Or carrying it if I find I'm in New York City again in less than a month), and giving them everything I have so it can be catalogued, stories written and remembered.

Here are some pictures Joe took of my while I was visiting the Digital Press game store