The Quill
Tom’s blog took me back to my Spectrum childhood. I can see the overlap appeal of RPG and adventure based computer games (I was a Level 9 aficionado) but to me they were entirely separate entities. Sit me in front of a screen and I would do battle with goblins, trolls, Zardok the Unyielding, whoever was blocking my rubber keyed progress. But board games, dice and what have you? Never considered it.

Perhaps this shows a lack of imagination on my part. Perhaps I wanted pre-populated worlds rather than conjure my own. That theory was probably true until along came The Quill.

“Write your own adventure games” was its selling point. Basically you invented a world, input basic criteria, “Troll can only be killed with Lida’s knife” and you were away. I researched the market and found a gap; adventure game set inside the human body (I guess in retrospect it was based on Inner Space or its predecessor). I described impenetrable walls of earwax, fiddly intestine mazes and a baddie who was busily trepanning the skull (for reasons I’ve forgotten).

My plot had a twist. I’d suggest it was a mans body, but it really belonged to a woman and the unfolding task would concern saving the person. Eventually you would twig the sex (I think you got into the pupils and looked down to see a pair of bazookas*), but then, double twist Mikey would throw in another element, the woman was pregnant and you had to save the unborn child. I think this would have been the means of escape too, zooming out with the afterbirth. Even at the age of 13 I realised the market for this sort of thing was narrow.

*Bazookas was my favourite teenage word. Now, of course, I call them Boobies.