The Hobbit (ZX Spectrum, 1982), and how a kid became a geek

Note: this post is expanded from one in my old blog, The Games of My Life.

Back in time, to a 1982 game I played in 1983, on my first computer (well, technically my father’s), a 48K ZX Spectrum: Melbourne House’s The Hobbit.

The Hobbit -- starting location
The Hobbit -- starting location

This game… well, it has a story, and I’m not talking about the “Bilbo, Gandalf and a bunch of dwarves go on a quest to retrieve a dragon’s treasure” one. I mean a personal story. I guess I could say that this game changed my life — as much as anything can change one’s life, I guess.

So you’ll have to bear with me — or, of course, skip this post. Because this one is as much about “why I’m the way I am” as it is about the game — perhaps more. And it’s a long one. 🙂 More after the break…

Continue reading The Hobbit (ZX Spectrum, 1982), and how a kid became a geek

Geeks in the US as opposed to Portugal

I mentioned in the previous post that one of the reasons I created a new blog for posting about “geeky” subjects was that the otherwise most appropriate possibility was my personal blog, which is in Portuguese, and I wanted these posts to be in English. But why is that, you may ask?

There’s a funny difference between “geekdom” in my native country, Portugal, and the USA. In America, being a geek is associated with stuff such as science fiction (especially, but not only, Star Trek and Star Wars), fantasy, role-playing games (RPGs), board games, video games, and so on. All that in addition to technology and computers.

In Portugal? A typical “geek” is interested in technology and computers. That’s it.

Considering that all of the above are among my interests, you can see how I have much more in common with American geeks than with Portuguese ones. It’s not that there aren’t people in Portugal interested in Trek, Tolkien, D&D or strategy games with 200-page manuals, but they are comparatively very rare… and they’ll all understand English perfectly, anyway. 🙂 So, as I wanted to reach the largest possible audience… English it is.