We’ve all played games on the computer before, whether they were computer programs through the school that had some sort of educational value, CD-ROM games you would play at home, or MMORPGs (mass multiplayer online role playing game). Looking back on our previous computer playing games, it brings back a lot of memories from elementary school as well as middle school. While some of us no longer play computer games, a blast from the past of computer games we used to play are kind of nice.

School Program Computer Games

Mavis Beacon

This computer program was meant to teach elementary kids how to type on the keyboard without pecking the keys one by one. Each level was associated with certain keys on the keyboard. They would have different combinations of each skill set to get you in the practice of using those keys with the right finger as well as becoming more aware of the placement on the keyboard in the form of mini games. I remember one of the mini games being a check out at the grocery store and you had to type the random combinations for the food to scan. All in all, a first good step towards typing.

Zoombinis

Zoombinis are tiny blue creatures with distinct looks and personalities. The purpose of this program was teaching kids how to critically think in order to get the Zoombinis from one place to the next, and ultimately to safety in their own village. Each place has a different challenge for you to figure out, whether it be which pizza topping pleases the troll the most, or what combinations make the best Zoombinis. While the premise may seem strange, this game was super popular when I was in school.

CD-ROM Games

Where in the USA is Carmen SanDiego

First of all, this is a more specific version of the widely known game, Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego, but give me some slack, when I played this version, I struggled with the state facts. In the game, you start out as a lowly level private eye trying to locate Carmen SanDiego. You ask people questions and pick up clues to help you go to the next destination to find her. The people will give you hints like, “She said something about the Sunshine State..” and from there you were supposed to come up with Florida. Then you go to Florida and ask questions all over again until you find her. Each time you find her, you raise a level, but then she escapes, and you have to find her all over again.

Backyard Baseball

This game was for all the athletes out there whose parents told them it was too late to play outside, so they came inside to continue playing sports. This game is pretty self-explanatory, you pick characters (some of which are cartoon version of actual baseball players) to be on your team, and play baseball. It’s actually pretty fun. You can make your own character, get to throw crazy pitches, and the commentary is hilarious.

MMORPGs

Neopets

Everyone knows what Neopets are if they didn’t actually participate. You got to pick a Neopet and personalize it with a name, a color, and likes/dislikes. Then you were off to explore the Neopet world. You could play mini games to collect money, you could go on quests for the fairies, you could build your own store, or you could interact with other players. I’m not sure what the ultimate point was, but I know that the more money you had, the cooler you could customize your Neopet. It was the first online game many kids played where they could interact with strangers, but few really did.

Runescape

This game was set in medieval times. You did quests and other things to gain more experience and money while leveling up. I’m not fully sure what this game entails, however, I know it was super popular. All my friends talked about it all the time in middle school. I couldn’t tell you if it was the game itself, or the fact that much of the game depended on interacting with strangers to get further along. Either way, the graphics at the time were pretty good and 3D compared to the 2D cartoon world of Neopets.

Computer games were a staple in our childhood. It didn’t matter if you weren’t fully into computer games, you either heard of them, or watched someone else play them. It definitely brings back memories from when I was young.