Title: Grim Inspiration of a Popular Atari Videogame

Written by: Joel T. Kant

Date Written: February 9, 2020

Copyright: February 9, 2020


I watched as Bruce Brown deftly spun the trackball back and forth while tapping the fire button of the coin-op videogame. A crosshair displayed on the CRT screen flew this way and that. As the crosshair moved around the screen, he hit the fire button. A blue line shot out to the crosshairs, then an expanding circle appeared. Incoming red lines from the top of the screen hit the expanding circle to make the red line disappear.

We were in a noisy place because besides the sounds of four coin-op arcade games in the background was also the sound of bowling balls knocking down pins in the bowling alley that was louder than the videogames themselves. There were about ten lanes. Never in my life did I bowl there. This was the basement of the student union at Cornfield University.

Despite the noise, I heard Josh Cistern claim to his roommate Albert Rose, "Look at this. Donkey Kong could be ported to my Commodore Vic-20 computer!"

I looked away from Bruce's expert playing of Atari's Missile Command with the lines and circles. Josh had not been referring to Missile Command. Josh had been speaking to Albert about the new game. I rarely had been in this place, although I had checked it out when I first came here, so maybe late August or early September of last year. Josh had said in class that I had to come see the new videogame of Donkey Kong that had been put in to replace a car driving game called Night Driver by Atari that by 1982 was already antiquated. I had gotten distracted by watching Bruce's expert playing of Missile Command as Bruce had already been here playing when Josh, his roommate Albert, and I had arrived.

Albert informed Josh, "The screen resolution of a Vic-20 is only one hundred seventy-six by one hundred eighty-four. This Donkey Kong is roughly two-hundred fifty squared."

I was not surprised Albert had memorized the screen resolution of Josh's Vic-20. I could do it myself, since it was twenty-two columns by twenty-three rows, and characters were made of eight-by-eight pixels. The product of eight times twenty-two gave the one hundred seventy-six, and eight times twenty-three gave the one hundred eighty-four. However, I was confused on how he knew for this game since it was brand new and we had not been here all that long, so I asked, "How'd you figure that?"

Albert said, "That was just an estimate. Here, I'll do it properly."

Albert reached into his backpack, and pulled out a ruler and a calculator. He placed it on the screen and counted pixels for an inch, ignoring the image of the plumber and the grids in preview mode as he counted the dots. Being tall, slender, and black-haired while doing a quantitative measurement like this, he reminded me of Mr. Spock from Star Trek, except not having pointed ears or eyebrows.

Albert amended, "Two fifty-six by around two-hundred-twenty-four pixels. The Vic-20 can also only do eight colors at a time. Look at these barrels with color gradation. That's a lot more than eight colors."

Josh insisted, "It still could be done even if blocky for the graphics and fewer colors."

In fact, a year later in 1983, the official Donkey Kong cartridge for the Commodore Vic-20 would be one of the most popular cartridges that came out for it. Given the hardware limitations of a Vic-20, it was a superb port. It had to be on a cartridge because the stock memory of a Vic-20 was not enough for a decent conversion. The graphics were blocky compared to the coin-op arcade, but the gameplay was excellent.

At this time in 1982, a man appeared behind Josh and Albert asking, "If you two aren't playing Donkey Kong, will you please get out of the way for a paying customer? Hey, Albert, is that a ruler?"

I looked at the interloper who held a quarter in his right hand to see Tom Anderson, quite a stout fellow who looked like he should be getting more exercise and playing less videogames.

Josh and Albert backed off. Tom took their place, and inserted his quarter.

Bruce's voice broke in with the complaint, "You guys missed seeing me setting the new high score in Missile Command!"

Tom ignored this as he was focused on Donkey Kong, which used a joystick controller rather than a trackball, but Josh, Albert, and I came over to see the high score screen of Missile Command. Bruce Brown had inserted his distinctive initials of BBB at the very top, which reminded me of the Better Business Bureau.

Tom asked me, "You want to see if you can beat that, Joel?"

I replied, "I'm terrible at fact-action arcade games. I cannot beat that."

Albert chuckled and said, "You made another pun about your last name, Joel."

"Huh," I said.

Albert parroted, "'I Kant beat that.' You're Joel Kant. Get it?"

I groaned, but then put in, "Besides, I don't have a quarter to spare."

Josh read out the points in the high score list, and praised Bruce, "That's impressively high."

I said, "I can see it is the top score on the board."

Josh informed me, "Being on top of that means little. These machines are shut off every night. Some of the games have battery-backed RAM so remember high scores, but coin-op Missile Command doesn't have that feature. It starts afresh each time powered up. However, this number truly is impressive."

Josh, like Albert, lived in Capital City when not at college, where there were lots of video arcades in malls with dozens of games in each. Those video arcades with dozens of machines at each were quite unlike a small area outside the bowling alley of the Student Union like where we were now with only four games. Given Josh and Albert's interest in all things related to computers and digital electronics, I just took it for granted they would be experts on these kinds of details on coin-op videogames as well.

Bruce replied to this, "Josh, you know a lot about videogames for both the electronics and the software. I like those games you wrote on your Vic-20."

Josh looked pleased to hear that. He indeed had some videogames he wrote including a version of the Battleship game with grids and a maze game with 3D perspective.

Bruce continued, "I love testing videogames. We should start a video game company! Albert, want to form a videogame company with Josh and me?"

Albert firmly replied, "No. The videogame business whether for coin-op arcade games like these or for home computers is too fickle for my tastes, especially for small start-ups. When I graduate, I want to get a job with more security at a place like IBM, Honeywell, Data General, TRW, or Digital Equipment Corporation."

Almost as an afterthought and without consulting Josh if this was a good idea, Bruce turned to me and said, "Joel, you're in EE. Want to join Josh and I in a videogame company?"

I replied, "I won't have any time with my course load for anything like that! Also, I agree with Albert about the risks of a start-up."

Josh declared, "You have to be bold and seize opportunities to make big bucks!"

Albert swung his hands indicating these four coin-op arcade machines and said, "These weren't built and programmed by college kids in a dorm room in their spare time!"

Bruce and Josh looked frustrated as if his statement was killing their pleasant dream.

Josh asked, "Bruce, how'd you get so good at Missle Command?"

Bruce noted, "The reason I am so good at Missile Command is it is almost identical to the game ABM on the Apple II. For a drawing package to be used in some course or other, analog potentiometer joysticks have been placed on the Apple II's at the Math-Science Learning Center. Whenever I can keep that witch Karen from kicking me off the computer for playing games on it, I've been playing lots of ABM. It's different playing with a potentiometer so analog joystick compared to a trackball, but I've now got the hang of the trackball."

There had been ongoing battle between the tutor named Karen and keeping students from playing videogames on the Apple II computers. Now that the Apple II computers had been outfitted with analog joysticks, the battle to keep videogames away had become even hotter.

Albert said, "I find the topic of both Missile Command and ABM to be grim."

Tom had finished his game with losing quickly since unfamiliar with it and overheard this so put in, "And a giant ape that kidnapped a woman then then tosses flaming barrels is cheerful in comparison?"

Albert replied, "Compared to nuclear war, yes!"

Despite the name of this game in front of us being Missile Command, I had not really thought too much about the topic of the game with a similar screen on the Apple II called ABM, so I asked, "What does ABM stand for?"

Bruce replied, "Anti-Ballistic Missiles. Those red lines coming from the top of the screen represent incoming nuclear missiles. The three bases on the bottom of the screen shoot up counter-missiles as blue lines. They explode in the sky in the path of the incoming missile to destroy them."

Tom declared, "The concept of both Missile Command and ABM is ridiculous. Those blue lines coming up from the bottom of the screen are supposed to be anti-missile missiles. The red lines from the top are incoming nuclear missiles, of course. The circles are supposed to be nukes that blow up in the path of incoming nuclear missiles. Regular explosives would hardly be enough. So, the defense would fill the sky with so much radiation and fallout that it would be about as bad as if the incoming missiles had hit."

Albert replied, "It wasn't considered silly before the year 1972."

Josh asked, "What happened then?"

Albert replied, "The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, of course. It shut down the Sentinel Program that is the basis of this game. There was a plan to use nuclear explosions to destroy in the air nuclear missiles coming down, just like in these games. Putting nuclear armed missiles near cities to do that led to huge fears that our own nukes might be used against us somehow."

Bruce scratched his head, then said, "I never really thought these games were based on anything real!"

Tom said, "I heard the new president Ronald Reagan when campaigning was complaining about the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. However, I never really connected that with these video games. I mean, yes, those icons on the bottom are labeled as cities, but it doesn't seem much like a real city being nuked."

Josh wondered, "How do you know so much about this topic, Albert?"

Albert replied, "My Dad is retired from the Air Force. We moved all over when I was a kid. One place was Grand Forks, North Dakota. That's where the single ABM site allowed by the ABM treaty that Ronald Reagan hates was implemented."

Bruce asked incredulously, "The U.S. has an actual ABM site like in this game, but only one rather than three?"

"The U.S. had one," Albert confirmed. "The anti-missile missiles are a mixture of Spartan and Sprint missiles. It was called the Safeguard Program, which replaced the Sentinel Program. While Sentinel was to place nuclear-tipped anti-missile missiles near large American city, but Safeguard Program was to be only for military bases. A treaty with the U.S.S.R. then limited the U.S. to have only one ABM location, which was then built in North Dakota."

I recalled Albert had mentioned his Dad had retired from the Air Force, and that they have moved all over the place as a young kid as his Dad had not retired yet. I had not ever suspected this.

Tom remarked, "Even if nuclear war was to happen, the Soviets won't waste a nuke on a tiny, far-from-civilization place like Cornfield University in Cornfield City. We'd all survive simply by being here."

Josh asked, "Any of you ever seen the Duck and Cover videos when in school?"

Tom said, "The ones they played back when we were in grade school with the animated turtle?"

Josh said, "That's it. Getting under a school desk is supposed to save one from a nuclear bomb. In Capital City, I heard that if there is a nuclear war, what one should do instead of ducking is bend way, way over."

Albert asked, "What's bending over accomplish compared to ducking?"

Josh remarked, "If you are limber enough, you can lean over far enough to kiss your butt goodbye!"

However, Josh really used a cruder word than butt that is another word for a donkey.

That got a laugh.

Albert pessimistically noted, "Even though this place would never get directly nuked, fallout would contaminate the food supply."

Bruce unkindly stated, "Tom, you'd outlast all of us! Your fat would turn into calories to keep you alive as a survival trait!"

Josh said, "Speaking of food, the cafeteria will be open by the time we can walk to it. Let's get out of here."

"The noise of the bowling in the background is giving me a headache, so let's go," I agreed, although I think the topic of nuclear war was what was really giving me a headache.

As we left the student union that did not contain a cafeteria, the group of us walked toward Glenview Common on the opposite side of campus. It was a clear spring day with the sun not yet set.

Josh remarked, "Over Christmas break when I was up in Capital City, there is a new idea around called Nuclear Winter. So much dust would be kicked into the air, it would block enough of the sun's rays that it could be like the year without the summer."

I asked, "You say that like there has been such a year already."

Josh explained, "There has. The year 1816 was known as the year without a summer because the volcano Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies erupted in 1815. So much dust got into the air above where rain clouds would wash it out that all the way in Europe, it was known as the year without a summer."

Tom stated, "If the world had ended in 1816, I think we would know about it by 1982!"

Josh chuckled and said, "It didn't really mean no summer at all, but a shortened growing season. That led to famines, but obviously the world didn't end in 1816."

Tom said, "The volcano Mount St. Helens in Washington State blew two years ago. There was dust coming down many states away, but I don't recall a shortened growing season."

Josh explained, "Mount St. Helens had the side of it blow off, so the dust stayed low enough to remain below rain clouds. Thus, precipitation quickly washed the dust out of the air. Mount Tambora in 1815 and Mount Krakatoa in 1883 blew straight upward, so the dust got above the cloud layer. That's is what is supposed to happen after nuclear war to cause nuclear winter."

Albert pointed off in the far-off distance where one of the farms that grow corn could be seen. The campus was in a hilly region, so this was visible between trees and houses due to our elevation.

Albert suggested, "There's a silo on that farm. That would contain a lot of corn that might be protected somewhat from fallout. We might not die from starvation after all, at least not any time soon, if we had access to something like the corn in a silo like that."

Tom remarked, "The silo would be nearly depleted at this time of year since the cows can be let out to graze. So, not likely enough in mid-Spring to last a full year without a good growing summer. Besides, I think that's a dairy farm, so it most likely has corn fit only for cows in it, not for humans."

Bruce joked, "So, all those cartoon cities I saved in Atari Missile Command will be doomed anyway from fallout followed by nuclear winter having no crops grow for the next year!"

Albert noted, "Nuclear bombs also cause an electromagnetic pulse known as an EMP. It kills digital circuits. So, if the circles in the game were actual nuclear explosions, it should affect the videogame itself, killing the electronics inside the first time you used the fire button."

Bruce seemed trying to be working out Albert's logic.

Tom remarked, "If we were really cautious, then not only should we live out here in the boonies, but also have a year's worth of food stored. That'd be hard to do in half of a dorm room! I'd want a year's worth of booze as well as food!"

Josh declared, "Besides problems of food...and of booze as well, I think the big problem if such a thing would happen beyond uncontaminated food would be the lack of women at this place!"

For the past three decades as I type this story up, Cornfield University has had an admission policy that deliberately balances out the enrollment at about the same number of males and females. Back then in 1982, this enlightened policy did not exist yet. Instead, for a campus as a whole, it was about four male students to one female student. In the engineering courses that Josh Cistern and I were taking, it was more about fifteen or more males to one female student!

Bruce declared in what seemed a change of topic, "I've been exchanging letters with a woman from Capital City University. I have phoned her twice, but had to stop when I saw how high my phone bill was because of that."

Tom replied, "I think you're just making her up to impress us, Bruce. If she's real, then what's her name?"

Bruce answered, "Her name is Teri."

Tom snorted and said, "I've got a buddy in class named Terry, but he's a guy. You sure you're not gay, Bruce?"

Bruce scowled and said, "Short for Theresa. We went to the same high school. She started at Capital City University when I started here."

Josh asked, "Can you describe her?"

With such a small number of females around Cornfield University, some guys had tried to make up a girlfriend back in a home city to get attention. Those who did that tended to be sparse on details.

Bruce did not delay a moment as he replied, "A couple inches shorter than me. Long, curly brown hair about shoulder length. Brown eyes. Not slender, but not at all overweight. She's studying Education, planning to be a grade school teacher when she graduates."

Albert noted, "Unlike Capital City University, here at Cornfield University, the highest major offered in any major is a Bachelor's degree. The sole exception is in Education, where you can get a Masters."

Josh said, "Despite the student ratio here on campus, there are lots of pretty girls who are Townies. There are also quite a few farm girls around."

Bruce's voice showed authentic concern about his pen pal as he said, "Those farm girls might keep you guys happy if disaster were to come, but I'm concerned about Teri. I wonder if this could really happen? Maybe I could convince Teri to transfer down here. The Education program is excellent here, just as good as that at Capital City University."

Josh chuckled and said, "If I were you, Bruce, I'd not worry about a we'll-all-be-dead-wherever-we-are nuclear war. Given how you described Teri, she seems a girl worth it for you to transfer to Capital City University yourself!"

Bruce sadly noted, "I didn't pass Computer Programming for Engineers last semester because of putting a game of Tic-Tac-Toe on the mainframe. That got me kicked off for the rest of the semester."

Josh said, "I thought you dropped the class so it wouldn't show up on your gpa."

Bruce said, "This happened past the drop-the-class date. I clearly could not pass a class like that when not allowed to use the computer. Because of that, my overall gpa would be too low to transfer to Capital City University."

I remarked, "I'd like to go to Capital City University. Its electrical engineering program is rated in the top twenty in the U.S. News Guide to Colleges. Cornfield University isn't even in the list for EE at all. Too small to be noticed, I suppose."

Josh contradicted me, "No, the EE program here is so new that the first bachelor's graduates won't be until next year. Thus, there are no EE graduates to evaluate. The Mechanical Engineering program has been around for over half a century, so its on the list. Way, way down on the list. Just above five hundred, if I remember correctly."

Tom said, "You're not much fun since you're almost always studying, Joel. I think this is the first time I've seen you at these arcade games in the student union."

I admitted, "I only came because Josh told me when we were in class that there was a new game I had to come see. He meant the Donkey Kong game."

Tom continued, "Normally you wouldn't be here even on a Friday afternoon. As a result, you get great grades but have no fun. I'll bet you could be accepted as a transfer no problem."

I replied, "Well, I was accepted at both Capital City University and at Cornfield University last year."

Bruce asked, "Why'd you choose this place?"

I answered, "Dad insisted. He thinks there are too many wild parties in Capital City, so I am better off at a sleepy, peaceful place like Cornfield University."

Bruce, Tom, Josh, and even the normally keep-emotions-hidden Albert broke into hearty laughter.

Josh told a story that we'd all heard from him before about how Playboy magazine had rated various universities to rank them as "party schools." While Capital City University was well up on the list, Cornfield University had a special note that if partying meant drinking, it was at a much higher level than Capital City University. I have no idea if such a survey existed or just a story Josh made up. I do know there were plenty of drinking parties in the dorms at Cornfield University every Friday night.

Bruce remarked, "As soon as supper is over, I'm going to have myself a stiff drink or three! Talking about the historical context that inspired Atari's Missile Command has me needing it!"

Josh replied, "I'm with you on that!"

Tom wondered, "I wonder if an anti-ballistic missile system like in the videogame could actually be made to work?"

Josh suggested, "I think the Soviets know that if the U.S. and them really went at it, there is so much overkill that the last missiles launched by either side will accomplish little more than making the rubble bounce. I think them knowing that is much better for preventing nuclear war than any ABM system could ever be. Albert, is that single ABM location still running in North Dakota?"

Albert replied, "No, it only ran for a year. It was shut down in 1976, and my family moved again. Unlike the video game Missile Command, I don't think the U.S. has any anti-missile ballistic systems running right now. So, I hope you are right about the Soviets fear of retaliation preventing them from action."

Josh remarked, "The fear-of-retaliation policy has the official name of M.A.D."

Bruce said, "You've got to be joking! It can't really be called that."

This I had heard of M.A.D. in a high school history class even though I had never heard of Sentinel or Safeguard before, so put in, "No, it's really called that. It stands for Mutually Assured Destruction."

Both Albert and Josh nodded showing no trace of humor now.

Tom said, "I never think about nuclear war being a real possibility when I play Missile Command. It's just a fun videogame. You beat my high score today, Bruce. Do you think about nuclear war when you play?"

Bruce said, "Not before, but I will now!"

Albert said, "I didn't check the resolution on Missile Command like I did on Donkey Kong, but I think it's similar to Donkey Kong. What's the resolution of an Apple II?"

Bruce instantly replied, "Two hundred eighty by one hundred ninety-two. Much better than Josh's Vic-20. That's why I like playing ABM on the Apple II. Even if Missile Command or ABM were ported to the Vic-20, I don't think they would be as good due to the lower screen resolution."

Josh frowned, as he was proud of the capabilities of his Vic-20, then remarked, "I've got a game like Missile Command on my Vic-20. You can try it and see."

Bruce asked, "One you wrote yourself?"

Josh admitted, "This is not a game I wrote. I found a copy somewhere. Besides showing you guys the new videogame, I have all the mixings for some stiff drinks in my dorm room. I cannot afford the bars tonight."

Tom said with relief, "I'm glad not to go to the bars either. I have a summer job waiting so will get a good sum of money once this semester is finally over, but my bank account is low right now! I've got a bottle of vodka I've been saving. I'll bring that over so I'm not just sponging off you, Josh."

Josh said solemnly, "I have a nearly full bottle of rum. I want to make this an occasion. I wanted to let you guys know I might not be back here next school year."

I was shocked and said, "Josh, you're doing academically almost as well as I am! Why?"

Josh reassuringly said, "Oh, I'm not dropping out of college. As you know, my Dad teaches at Capital City University."

We all nodded, having heard that at various times.

Josh continued, "Dad says it is a waste of money for me to be down here since I have to live in the dorms. At Capital City University, I would live at home with Mom and Dad."

Albert said, "I'd hate to lose you as a roommate. Besides, your Dad is wrong about the cost. The tuition here is so much cheaper so that here the total of tuition and dorms is less than just the tuition would be at Capital City University. My Dad doesn't even want me to be at college, but to join the Air Force like he did. I can afford this place, but not the higher tuition at Capital City University!"

Josh replied, "You don't get it, Albert. Unlike your father, my Dad's a professor there. That means I'd get a special tuition rate, almost free, that I don't get here."

Tom said, "I thought Capital City University profs made a great salary. You sure this isn't just an excuse to keep you at home to keep an eye on you?"

Not liking the turn this had taken, I said, "The Capital City University EE program does have far more national notice than the EE program here! Maybe your Dad is also thinking about that."

"Maybe," Josh said without conviction. "Tonight will be fun, though, even if we cannot afford to go the bars."

As the others discussed what was available for beverages in Josh and Albert's room with the help of the contribution of Tom's vodka, I dropped back from the group. That topic of alcoholic beverages did not interest me.

Bruce slowed and came over close to me, then whispered, "Joel, do you think I should try to get Teri to transfer down here?"

I replied, "We're still only Freshmen. You act like you're ready to propose to her. Do you think the relationship will last until graduation?"

Bruce said, "I'm not sure, but I hate the idea of her being in Capital City."

I responded, "Tom and Josh have been teasing you. You just heard Josh say he might transfer to Capital City University himself! He can't really be convinced there is a high chance of it being nuked, or he'd do all he can to stay here! Or maybe go move off to Australia or someplace like that! I'd transfer myself for the better-rated EE program if my Dad would allow it."

Bruce remarked, "You aren't scared of Capital City getting nuked?"

I replied, "That's such a low probability that it would not factor into my plans. Are you really concerned about that?"

Bruce nodded.

I decided to change the subject and asked Bruce, "Do you think the Missile Command clone game that Josh talked about on his Vic-20 will be any good?"

Bruce said, "It can't be. Not just for the lower screen resolution either. It's a game that only plays well with an analog controller like a trackball or potentiometer joystick. The arcade game I was playing has a trackball and the Apple II game ABM uses a potentiometer joystick. The Vic-20 has a switch-based joystick. That's actually better for some games like Pac-Man and that new game of Donkey Kong. A clone of Pac-Man I have for the Apple II played with the potentiometer joystick is terrible, but Josh has a great clone on his Vic-20 called Chomper. The switch-based joystick is just the ticket for that style game, but not for Missile Command or clones of it."

I replied, "At least playing videogames on Josh's Vic-20 home computer don't cost us quarters."

We were now close to the cafeteria. The others entered with Bruce and myself still outside as Bruce asked, "Had you ever heard of the U.S. ABM location that shut down in 1976 that Albert talked about?"

I replied, "I never heard of Safeguard or Sentinel until today, just about Mutually Assured Destruction."

Bruce nodded, then went in the door.

As I followed him through, I wondered if Bruce's fear of his girlfriend being at Capital City University rather than far off in farm country like Cornfield University might not be misguided after all! It would be terrible if this unlikely event were to happen, and I had discouraged Bruce from trying to talk Teri into transferring to the comparative safety of Cornfield University. As I got my tray and joined the others as we got our food, I thought about what food here might really be squirreled away that wouldn't spoil for a full year.

I did not seem the only one thinking along those lines as Josh looked at the cooked spaghetti that he was putting on his plate and said to us, "If not cooked, dry spaghetti should last for years."

Tom said, "Canned food can last for years. These beans probably came from cans."

Bruce suggested, "We should start a videogame company after all! As a game idea, it would be how to stop nuclear war in a way that wouldn't have fallout and nuclear winter as would happen with Atari's Missile Command game!"

Albert asked, "What would a more reliable way be to take out incoming nuclear missiles while preventing fallout?"

Josh suggested, "Powerful laser weapons!"

Josh continued, explaining this would need sharp sensors, computer vision, excellent computer guidance, and even artificial intelligence as humans doing the aiming would not be accurate enough.

Albert speculated, "We might take technology to create a robot that can play videogames. It could be so advanced as to outplay any human, so there would be no point in any human playing a videogame ever again! That would make your idea of starting a videogame company completely obsolete!"

One year after our conversation, President Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech that launched the Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI. Although it got disparagingly referred to as Star Wars, in another year, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, SDIO, was formed. SDIO investigated space-based missiles, ground-based missiles, electromagnetic rail guns, charged particle beams, X-ray lasers, and some other methods. It was a dizzying number of possibilities, with little publicly stated if any would be effective. Fortunately, as of my writing this down over three and a half decades later, there has been no nuclear-armed missiles launched. Therefore, Cornfield University still exists, almost doubled in size, as does Capital City University although Capital City University is only slightly larger since land-locked by being in a big city.

Back in spring of 1982 just a few days after our conversation about Atari's Missile Command, Teri sent a Dear John letter to Bruce despite only a few weeks left until summer break. Bruce was heartbroken.


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