Seventeen and a half years ago Germany was divided in two parts. West Germany had democracy and a social market economy. But I lived in East Germany, which was ruled by a kind of dictatorship (even though the official name was “German Democratic Republic“) with a centrally planned economy. The computer technology in our country was at least a decade out of date and a home computer cost triple the monthly income of one of my parents. So I had no chance to get my finger on one.
On my birthday in 1989 a Russian tele game had been given to me. A friend of my farther, who was working in the former Soviet Union, brought it along. The handheld was only able to let me play one game but at that time I was very happy. In the game you had to catch the rolling eggs from four sides. When a egg pitched onto the ground you lost a life. The game characters based on a famous Russian animation series called “Nu, pogodi!“, which was also known in East Germany. That was my first contact with electronic games.
In the November of the same year the “Berlin Wall” had fallen and the inner German border was opened. A half year later the GDR still was existing but a lot had already changed. Nonetheless I met the Hare and the Wolf again being on holiday. There was a arcade gaming machine called “Poly Play” with different games. The funniest of all was a “Pac-Man” clone starring the characters from “Nu, pogodi!”.
In the summer I was attending a computer club, where I got in contact with the “Robotron KC 87“. There I programmed my first game. You only had to hit a key on right time to shoot a rocket, which had to strike a car driving from the top to the bottom of the screen again and again.
With the “German Reunification” on October 3rd, 1990 my parants were able to bestow me my first own computer at the following Christmas: A “Commodore 64“. At that time I was eleven years old.