Working On Like Donkey Kong

donkey-kong-screenshot

Just another day at the office…

Folks, in my neck of the woods some go-getter is setting up a computer museum; surely these days, any hardware, or software, more than six months old must qualify as an antique?

Anyway, I checked out some of the stuff that will be displayed and discovered that I might have a genuine computing relic stuffed away in the dark recesses of our linen press!

Traditionally, linen presses, or hallway cupboards, used to store, well, linen, but ours is chockfull of video tapes’ I can no longer watch, childhood games (Trouble anyone?) with vital pieces missing, baby clothes from last century stored in vac seal bags which will probably never be worn again, and somewhere near the back, hopefully in perfect working order, is my handheld Nintendo Donkey Kong game!

These things were huge in the early 1980’s. If you’re too young to remember, or from another planet, Donkey Kong’s backstory went like this: a large gorilla escapes from a zoo, kidnaps your girlfriend, then clambers to the top of a building still under construction, and tosses an endless supply of barrels at you, the hero plumber, while you scramble up sloping ramps filled with deadly pitfalls, rickety ladders and lethal traps trying to save your beau.

Except, this seemingly innocent children’s toy wasn’t just a game, it’s was actually teaching us kids what life in the modern workplace would be like once school had finished brainwashing us. Basically, slaving away at some thankless task day in, day out, while a roaring psychopath at the top of your heap causes grief to everyone below him.

I say ‘him’ because, just like real workplaces, of the tiny group of high-scorers eventually making it to the top level, only a microscopic percentage were females.

Plus, the better you got at the game/job, the harder you had to work to stay alive/employed, as the system is geared to keep piling on the barrels/work until you are overwhelmed and die/quit in spectacular fashion.

At which point, some folk must think, ‘Blow this for a game of soldiers!’ then drop out and open a computer museum.

About Greg Bray

The scribbler behind the 'On a Lighter Note' column.
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