The Hijacking of Flight 102
July 28, 2015 8:15 PM   Subscribe

About a month ago Motherboard posted about artist Jesse England looking for a lost Mac game that he played in his 7th grade social studies class. He knew it was about terrorism and an aircraft hijacking but not much else besides some images he remembered, which he drew out and shared in hopes someone would recognize it. Fortunately, he found it, and decided to share it with everyone. Let's Play: Research Paper Writer
posted by gucci mane (17 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
And video games haven't changed one dang bit.
posted by glaucon at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Programming isn’t just for computers, you know...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 8:36 PM on July 28, 2015


That was interesting. I stopped it halfway through. So far the hijackers are women. Does it remain that way?
posted by discopolo at 8:42 PM on July 28, 2015


I'm impressed he was simply able to order this out-of-date document/game, apparently easily, but I didn't see how he actually obtained it.
posted by Rumple at 8:59 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, that is absolutely bizarre. It looks like one of those boring educational "games" you are forced to play in school but it goes off on a very strange tangent from the subject of "Research Paper Writer." I love how the bland, scholastic packaging hides the contents of the game entirely.

Apparently just learning how to write research papers wasn't enough, so they had to present a bizarre picture of Research Paper Writers as intrepid heroes who coincidentally go through harrowing, terrible experiences (with their notecards and pens handy just in case) and then write research papers to help make sense of their experiences.

I wonder if there are other scenarios... Like one where you write a research paper about wildlife after being attacked by a bear. Or write a paper about politics after spending four years campaigning for City Council.

It's also a great self-parody of every educational game ever, wherein throughout the whole situation there is only ONE interaction where it asks what you choose to do, and regardless of what you choose the outcome is exactly the same.

discopolo: Two of the hijackers are women, the third is a male that looks like Che Guevara. The only real act of (pictured) violence is committed by the male, and one of the females is portrayed sympathetically.
posted by mmoncur at 9:26 PM on July 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Of course I promptly tweeted this to Jon Bois.
posted by wotsac at 9:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Were you people unaware that Grad Student Simulator was the working title of the game that became known as Dark Souls?
posted by um at 11:24 PM on July 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


There needs to be some kind of standard Internet campaign initiative to find lost computer games of our youths like this. There are several games I remember fondly but there is no trace of online at all, even after repeated searches over many years
posted by Bwithh at 12:10 AM on July 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm amazed at how well his illustration matched the feel of the original. He swapped the guns around and missed the male hijacker's beret, but he got the woman's open mouth and the pilot's oddly-complaisant expression.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:31 AM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


There needs to be some kind of standard Internet campaign initiative to find lost computer games of our youths like this. There are several games I remember fondly but there is no trace of online at all, even after repeated searches over many years

Especially with regard to what might be called Edutainment or Educational Software, precisely like this.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:07 AM on July 29, 2015


I'm amazed at how well his illustration matched the feel of the original. He swapped the guns around and missed the male hijacker's beret, but he got the woman's open mouth and the pilot's oddly-complaisant expression.

I played a ton of oddball PC/mac games like this as a kid at summer camps, school, my grandpas house, friends houses, and eventually at home. It's weird how many scenes from them are totally burned in to my brain like that. I could probably sketch the first couple levels of fire & ice or large swaths of treasure mountain, not to mention some more obscure ones i'd really have to grind away at my memory on to remember the names of.

I'll also add that this ridiculous long description he posted is exactly what i had to go through to figure out what fire & ice was via messageboards a few years ago. I think some shitty mspaint drawings were involved, even.(damn, his illustrations/animations are INTENSE)

There needs to be some kind of standard Internet campaign initiative to find lost computer games of our youths like this. There are several games I remember fondly but there is no trace of online at all, even after repeated searches over many years

There's quite a few youtube channels dedicated to essentially, well, this. This is the first one i thought of off the top of my head. There's also plenty of abandonware sites hosting lots of games like this.

I had an enormous cache of old and weird mac games like this that i recently sent off to the thrift store because i couldn't figure out how to ebay them without it being an enormous hassle*. I was surprised to find that basically all of them were already dumped online.

*(i've had a few too many instances with CD/DVDs of OMG U SAID THIS DISK WORKS I R FILING DISPUTE when i said it was untested to even try selling 800k floppies)
posted by emptythought at 4:10 AM on July 29, 2015


A minor observation, but: I watched these links in order, and I have to say it's remarkable how much he looks like his voice! When he showed up at the very beginning of the Let's Play, even before the video started playing I knew he was the guy I'd just been listening to. That's rarer than you might think.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:16 AM on July 29, 2015


(Derail: oh God! 800k floppies. Apple managed to be incompatible down to the hardware level.)
posted by wotsac at 6:45 AM on July 29, 2015


I love rediscovering lost memories. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Monochrome at 9:50 AM on July 29, 2015


I'd love to find a specific game from my childhood that I barely remember. It was a game where you solved crimes and the tools given to you were very detailed, like the one I remember the most was a mass spectrometer. It was a forensics game. Unfortunately I can't draw, especially from memory, so it's maybe lost forever.
posted by gucci mane at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2015


I'd love to find a specific game from my childhood that I barely remember.

I remember a game we used to play daily in school where you answered some sort of question, I think Math-based, having to do with wind speed or something, and on your screen an airplane dropped a raft to a guy stranded on a desert island. That's all I remember, and from those few facts, I've spent years trawling the web looking for it, to no avail. Also a more sophisticated game from the early nineties that let you assemble molecules. But as I have so little information to go on...

If I stumble across your forensics game I'll let you know.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:46 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's partially why I liked this so much, because it's amazing how close his drawings and memory were to the game, and the fact that he found it that way is amazing especially considering how esoteric it seems.
posted by gucci mane at 12:01 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


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