All these videos on computers and the internet, and kids sharing their passion for using such amazing technology in the 1990s really got me thinking about my earliest uses of the computer.
After finishing my first article about a family overly white, perky people teaching us how to use the computer, it got me thinking of when I learned how to use a computer in elementary school, and the first game I ever played on the computer.
For me, my first exposure to computers in the classroom setting was Mr. Dunn’s Computer Science class in third grade. This was in 1991, and the first formal computer class I would ever have. It was also not my last – I had computer classes all the way up through eighth grade, and then as electives in 10th and 12th grades. The classes evolved from learning point-and-click games, to using story writing applications, graphics programs, more advanced games, and even Sim City were explored. A drawing I made on a computer art program in my Computer Science class was entered into a county holiday art contest when I was in sixth grade – pretty impressive for a non-artist.
By middle and high school, computer class became more about practical applications – typing, keyboarding, creating a database, and even exploring the internet. In 12th grade, I took an elective that allowed the students in the computer class to put together the yearbook that year. I loved that class!
Of course, nothing compared to my very first computer class, which introduced me to a computer game I had fun with in class. I rediscovered this charming game in 2018, at the same time that I found out Classic Reload existed.
Hanging Out At The Treehouse…
The Treehouse was a point-and-click game distributed by Broderbund, first available through DOS in the summer of 1991 (this was the version my elementary school had), followed by releases for Apple II, FM Towns, Macintosh, and Windows between 1992 and 1996. The game involved two opossums (a boy and a girl), who would take you into their treehouse. The duo would sleep, eat a piece of fruit, and play games.
For its time, the game was cute and a nice introduction to point-and-click games. It was geared for slightly older children, but enough to be exciting for eight and nine-year-olds.
In November 2018, I made a gameplay video of the original version of The Treehouse, and explored all the interactive features while talking about my memories of playing this game in third grade. Originally published for Retroist at that time, the article is long gone, but the video is still alive and well on my YouTube channel.
In the spirit of watching videos about the passion of learning the family computer and internet in the enthusiastic way we all did in the 1990s, I’d like to re-share this fun moment in computer gaming with you.