As a child, my parents gave me a Texas Instruments computer that ran programs - no one called them "applications" back then - from cassette tapes, and I had some tapes of simple arcade games. I eventually moved on to a DOS box and discovered Sierra's adventure games and shareware titles such as Commander Keen and Duke Nukem, who would later go on to immense fame and popularity, but was then a B-rate action platformer. I ran with DOS all the way through my first year of college, stubbornly refusing to "upgrade" to Windows. But Tomb Raider 2 put the nails in the coffin, unable to run on DOS as the first had, and so I reluctantly embraced the world of graphical operating systems, icons, menu bars and mouse-based input.
It was a difficult time for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Tomb Raider 2, but I held nothing but contempt for Windows 95. And when Tomb Raider was done, I had nothing. It was then that I discovered Minesweeper, a default inclusion on all Windows installations and the first logic-based puzzle game I had ever found enjoyable. Minesweeper was merciless; a single mistake would cost you the game. New games came and went, but Minesweeper was always there to meet me when the fancy had passed. When I finally moved on from Windows, embracing the world of Mac, I'd like to stay I never looked back. But in moving on, I left Minesweeper behind. It felt as if I'd been released from prison, but had left my dearest, truest friend behind bars.