Basic Computer Games in The Real World

A few days ago, I read a post from a fellow programmer, Eric Clippert, and his blog post mentioned a weird little project that piqued my interest. Jeff Atwood and Eric Clippert have run through the entire book of the David H. Ahl produced BASIC Computer Games and is in the process of translating every single game in the book to nearly every modern programming language used in the mainstream, including Microsoft Visual Basic, Python, C#, Java Javascript and Ruby.

Of course, these old programs were written at a time where the average personal computer did not really exist and most computer users were on systems that took up the same space as a full-sized refrigerator. Yet, 99% of those programmers who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s who started their programming careers at that time used this book or the predecessor, 101 BASIC Computer Games, which was a Digital Equipment Corporation DEC PDP 8 and PDP 11 targeted book, also created by David Ahl who started Creative Computing Magazine.

The end goal of the project is to reprint the books BASIC COMPUTER GAMES and MORE BASIC COMPUTER GAMES with the updated programs. Jeff has received David Ahl’s permission to go ahead and pursue this project. Obviously with 96 programs on the docket, this is no small project and at nearly 200 pages per book with the original versions, this stands to be two books of quite hefty page counts upon completion.

Eric’s entry on the project is at:

Jeff Atwood’s BASIC COMPUTER GAMES project page is at:

Being as this project is well under way, it should be only a matter of time prior to the project taking full flight. Stay tuned for more!

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