Windows, DOS, and Games

Jeff Pack, Brown University '99 (English 112, 1996)

When my family got its third computer, it came installed with Microsoft Windows, which, though useful for applications like word processing, wasn't very good for games more complex than solitaire. (Windows 95, on the other hand, appears to be.) Thus it was necessary to return to MS-DOS to play serious games (that phrase isn't an oxymoron).

On the other hand, the advancements in storage media (high-density disks and hard drives with more than 100 megabytes of storage space were becoming increasingly commonplace) and the increased processing power of the 386 allowed games of far greater complexity than those found on the early PC's or the Apple II. Games like Civilization and Ultima VII created entire worlds, and let a player either save or conquer them. Of course, processing power alone does not an excellent game make, as evidenced by other games (like BloodNet and Return To Zork).

Eventually, after the rise of the CD-ROM drive, the look and feel of computer games changed to a more "cinematic" style; "Siliwood" (the convergence of Silicon Valley and Hollywood) was born.

EL112 WebBody & Self OVTitleIndex