A Musk Byte
Here’s a re-creation of the game Elon created in 1984 when he was 12 years old.
Here’s the article…
Elon Musk is obsessed with space. At age 30, he founded SpaceX. At age 41, he oversaw the first cargo mission to the International Space Station by a private company. And at age 12, as a kid living in South Africa, he made a space-themed PC game called Blastar. Now, thanks to the power of the internet, you can play that game.
Musk sold the code for Blastar for $500 to the magazine PC and Office Technology, and a reproduction of the page it appeared on was published in Ashlee Vance’s biography Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. From there, Tomas Lloret Llinares — a software engineer at Google — took the code and rebuilt the game to work in HTML5.
Your mission, as the game’s lonely space pilot, is to “destroy [the] alien freighter carrying deadly hydrogen bombs and status beam machines.” Blastar is mostly a mix of Space Invaders and Asteroid, though it’s much more basic. There is never more than two ships on the screen, there are few sound effects, and — like many games of its time — it really has no ending. It’s almost unimpressive; that is, until you remember that it was made by a 12-year-old in 1984.