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By David Kushner

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It was heading into more homes each day. Pretty soon, it wouldn’t be just a luxury item, it would be a home appliance. And what better to make it a friendly part of life than a killer game. With such a hit, people wouldn’t even have to buy Nintendos; they could just invest in PCs. And here Romero was sitting in his crappy little office building in Shreveport looking at the technology that could make the first big league games for the PC. He saw their destiny, their Future Rich Personages. It was so devastating that he found he couldn’t move, couldn’t get up out of his seat.

And to eat this stuff, they’d need someplace convenient to stash it. Romero, Carmack, and Lane agreed to kick in $180 of their own money to buy a used refrigerator for their new office, a small room in the back of Softdisk. But as they carried the appliance through the door, they felt the icy stares ol the jealous employees around them. All week they had been coming into the office with accessories: a microwave, a boom box, a Nintendo. Fucking Romero even came in with a video game! It was, Romero told them, research.

But, he told Al, he wanted to make games when the time was right. That time began to feel like it was never going to come. Romero grew unhappy. He spent nearly a year working on PC utilities programs. He did manage to refine his skills on the PC by porting more of his old Apple II games over to this platform. But PCs were still largely thought of as having only business applications, After all, they displayed just a handful of colors and squeaked out sounds through tiny, tinny speakers. Romero was nowhere near making games full-time.

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