My First Experiences with a Computer, PC Games, and the Internet

I was first introduced to my parents’ computer when I was about six years old, in the year of 1998. I was in the 1st Grade at the time, and the computer looked a lot like this:

First Computer

I remember using that computer to play a variety of PC games that grew popular among young children at that time, including Detective Barbie: The Mystery of the Carnival Caper, Reader Rabbit’s 1st Grade, Barbie Riding Club, Freddie Fish: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell, Candy Land, Ariel’s Story Studio, Jump Start 2nd Grade, and The Easy Bake Kitchen PC Game.

Detective Barbie Reader Rabbit Barbie Riding Club Freddi Fish III


Candy Land Story Studio Jump Start 

When I was about eight years old, I started using the Internet. It was around that time that my older cousin, Bartek, who was around eighteen, came to visit from Poland. He was extremely tech-savvy and first showed me, then taught me, how to use the Internet. I remember watching him in wonder and taking in all that he had taught me like a sponge. Very soon after, I remember finding a website called on my own. Instantly, it became my favorite website and my new obsession.

Old Neopets Layout

I remember having no difficulty whatsoever, at the age of eight, creating my own account without the help of my parents or cousin. I did, however, have plenty of trouble activating my account upon logging in. I remember it so vividly, and it surprises me because this was so long ago. In order to activate an account, and this goes for any account that is created even today, one must have a valid email address. I had absolutely no concept or idea of what an email address was, or how one would go about using it, or of the fact that setting up an email address required me to set up a whole new account on a whole other website. My cousin hadn’t taught me that. I remember how frustrated I was. I was so intrigued by this website, but found that I could not continue on to it or its games without activating it first. So, I struggled for about two weeks but finally, through some miracle, activated that account, which further implied that I had somehow managed to create an email. I remember how unbelievably happy and proud of myself I was. I also remember telling my parents about it, though they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

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  1. I totally forgot about Neopets when I was writing my blog post! Neopets was huge for me. Even now I’m considering logging on just to see what new in that old world I knew. I still feel that way about activation- making an account is easy enough, but following the seemingly never ending trail of activation emails and links drives me nuts.

  2. The idea of not having an email address is, in today’s world, so foreign. Just as foreign as email was when it first came on the scene. I remember websites like neopets always wanting a valid email address. I knew that my parents had an email address so if the random email addresses I entered were not valid I just used theirs. I’m sure they were thrilled about this.

  3. This is so cool, I didn’t even know they made an Easy Bake Kitchen or a Candy Land game online. I am so late!!! I was in love with the board game version growing up and I had two Easy Bake Ovens, my parents each bought me one without knowing it. Looking back it was really funny to see my dad baking cookies with me. I wonder how I would have felt about those games had I accessed them online? Thanks for sharing.

  4. I wish I read this post before I put mine up. I had the same experience when I first encountered the internet. I remember being so confused by the concept of an email and I couldn’t understand why I needed to make one account to activate another. For the longest time I would just write in random email addresses and hope that it would work until one day I understood the concept and made my very first Yahoo!

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