Emacs, your retro gaming friend

by Giles Turnbull

The worst thing about feeling ill is the lack of motivation. It's not just that you're incapable of doing anything constructive, you also tend to be completely uninterested in doing it.

In the middle of last week I caught a bug and ended up spending a day in bed. I took the usual list of things upstairs - paracetamol, water, a decent book, a laptop - and settled down to spend a day doing as little as possible.

I took the painkillers. I drank the water. I read almost all of the book. And on the laptop? It would be nice to be able to say that I managed a little work, or caught up on my bulging 'toread' folder, or dealt with some of the email backlog; but I did none of those things. No, I played games.

Partly because of my age, and partly because I'm just not very good at computer games generally, I often enjoy playing 'retro' games. Give me something that looks and sounds like the mid 1980s and I'm a happy man.

And where did I go on my hunt for entertainment? Why, Emacs of course.

Now I've encountered the Emacs psychiatrist before, and I knew about Emacs Tetris. But that didn't stop me firing up Tetris once more, just to check it was still functioning as it should. After 30 minutes or so of mindless block-sorting, I was convinced that it was.

But there's much more buried underneath the Tools -> Games menu in Aquamacs Emacs, my favorite 'Aquafied' fork of Emacs; Snake, Solitaire, Tower of Hanoi, even a dungeon-style text adventure. Really, enough to keep you busy for hours on a long flight, or even a day spent sneezing and coughing in bed.

What games do you play on your Mac when you can't be bothered to do anything else?


2005-10-31 16:55:16
I've tried the text adventure
My rounds at that always end with me eating something and dying. Sometimes it's the shovel, sometimes it's the CPU. My goal is to someday eat the bear.
2005-10-31 17:02:10
I hate emacs
Particularly "Aqua" emacs with throwback gnome icons ...
2005-11-01 09:43:04
I've tried the text adventure
Just be sure you don't google for "dunnet walkthrough" then. That'd spoil all your fun.
2005-11-03 10:30:53
What about text editing?
Now if only emacs had a text editor, it'd make a great OS. ;D

(sorry couldn't resist)