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“…Out of curiosity, how many of you feel that Sierra proved to be your greatest inspiration or motivation to pursue a successful career or hobby?…”
Well I was into computers awhile before I played my first Sierra game. My dad bought our first “real” computer, a PCjr in 1985. Before that I was playing around mostly on borrowed Commodores and my Atari 2600. The first Sierra game I played was the Black Cauldron which I bought from a kid on the playground in 1986 who couldn’t run it because he had a Mac. My sister and I both really got into that game – I must have played it through dozens of times to date. After that I started snapping Sierra stuff up on a regular basis. When I ran out of current releases to play, I went out and got Lesure Suit Larry for my Sierra fix when I was 13. I can only guess the reason my parents didn’t mind was because it deflected their duty to explain the “birds and the bees” to me, but that’s another story. Oh and by the way, Al, those adult questions at the beginning of LSL don’t stand up to trial and error by ravenous 13 year old Sierra fans.
Like anyone here, I imagine, I thought it would be cool to one day work for Sierra to help makes the games I so enjoyed, especially since I have such an affinity for mountains and wooded areas. But reality doesn’t always play out the way you’d like it to in your dreams. As it turns out I found programming to be quite boring, the right side of my brain was turned off at birth, the greatest drawing I have ever done was three stick figures on the same piece of paper, and musically, I am practically tone deaf. So, no coding, creative, artistic, or musical ability – I would say the lack of these four qualities pretty much precludes me from ever working at any level of game design. But it makes me the perfect network engineer, as it requires raw logic without the tedium of programming. Happiness is a green light on your CSU/DSU, and it is something I very much enjoy doing. And so that’s how the cards played out, but that is not to say that Sierra did not influcence my computing career.
Sierra motivated me in the sense that it gave me a lot of machine time and kept me interested in the computer – even if it was a primitive hunk of garbage like the PCjr. King’s Quest IV was actually my primary motivator to push my dad to get a new system because of its insane memory requirements at the time. The new system was a 386/16 with 1MB of RAM, a 40MB HD, and one of those newfangled VGA cards with 256KB of memory on it. I learned a LOT on that thing, and eventually learned to upgrade it bit by bit until I practically had a new computer. I eventually took my learned skills to a local mom & pop shop, where I picked up IPX networking because I wanted to play Doom with three other people. From there it was Novell, then Windows NT, then the Internet, and then I learned how to build routed networks on my own. Through these transitions the thing that remained constant is that I had always played Sierra’s games – and still go back sometimes and play them to this day.