I love old BASIC programs, especially the games. Not only were these the first of their kind, paving the way for the games we play today, but they are part of my early history as a computer scientist.
In 9th grade I played my first computer games – Star Trek, Lunar Lander and L.E.M, and a space war game on a teletype terminal of a DEC PDP-8E microcomputer. I also learned to program and even made changes to these games that became part of the lore of what we call today “Vintage BASIC.”
In 1973 when I first sat down in front of a computer, these games ran in only in 4K of memory, and were the largest programs I had ever seen. Yes, they were larger than life to a then 9th grader who until then never saw or heard about computers. These were complex and expertly crafted so that all of the game’s functions fit easily in memory. Such beautiful code (and even algorithms) is lost in the games of today that run in 4, 8 or more gigabytes.