Few people know the developer side of Bill Gates. He got into the history of video games.
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has many milestones in his career. One of the least known is that it was the creator of the first PC game of history. He was named donkeyeither donkey.basand was included with the operating system PC DOS Of the first IBM PCin 1981.
Of course, there were already games on other computers prior to the IBM PC, such as the Apple I itself. But here we are referring to the first PC compatible gamethe origin of the PCs with current Windows.
It is quite a curious story. In the late 1970s, IBM was developing its first home computer, the IBM PC. hired Microsoft to develop the OSand the basic language, a simple programming language that at that time was included in all computers.
Microsoft developed the system PC DOS for IBM PCs but, in a master move, he got IBM to let him sell it on your ownwith the name of MS-DOS.
Microsoft began selling it to brands that made PC compatible computers, and thus it became the single operating system for PCsbeginning his mastery of computers, which later extended with Windows.
Donkey, the first PC game created by Bill Gates
Returning to the subject at hand, in 1981 the first IBM PC was about to be commercialized. Microsoft already had the language ready MS BASICand wanted to show IBM that it was powerful enough to create games with motion graphics and sound.
At that time, Microsoft was barely 6 years old, and had very few employees. So it was Bill Gates himself, along with one of the company’s early employees, neil konzenthose who created donkeyalso know as donkey.bas. A game that was included with the operating system of the first IBM PC, and can be considered the first pc game ever.
Not to be confused with the first commercial PC game. That was Microsoft Adventure. You have more information about him in this card:
Own Bill Gates recounted in a speech in 2001, how they created the game:
“It was Neil and I at four in the morning with this IBM PC prototype sitting in a small room. IBM insisted that we had to have a lock on the door and we only had this cabinet that had a lock on it, so we had to do all of our development inside a cabinet.“.
“It was always over 37 degrees, but we wrote a little application late at night to show what the Basic built into the IBM PC could do. And so Donkey.bas was born. At the time it was very exciting“.
Here you can see it, in all its splendor:
His original name was donkey (Donkey), but people knew him as Donkey.BAS, its file name. The BAS extension referred to the fact that it had been created in BASIC.
The game is downright bad and simple. It is a car that you cannot drive, just change lanes by pressing the space bar. The objective of the game is avoid running over donkeys. If you catch one, you lose a life. And there is no more. The game was an infinite loop, until you ran out of lives.
You can’t ask for much more BASICsince it is a simple programming language, but slow.
If you want you can play donkey.bas in browser, without downloading anything. Is available in PCjs Machines.
Bill Gates He achieved his goal: to create a game in BASIC with moving graphics and sound (one beep). It was included in the PC-DOS operating systemwith the first IBM PC, in 1981.
He first pc game ever, Donkey.BAScreated by Bill GatesIt was pretty bad. But it served its purpose, and helped establish Microsoft as the future dominator of PC operating systems. It has its merit!