Realising that statistics wasn’t for her, Megler answered a newspaper advert for a part-time programming job at a local software company called Melbourne House. It was 1980, and she was halfway through a course that focused on designing operating systems and developing programming languages. “The day I was hired, the first thing my boss said to me was, ‘write the best adventure game ever,’” she remembers. The eventual result of this instruction was The Hobbit, a landmark 1982 text adventure game that’s still fondly remembered today.
Though the 20-year-old didn’t have a lot of experience with video games, she’d enjoyed one in particular. “I had found Colossal Cave Adventure addictive until the point where I had mapped out the game and solved it. Then it instantly became boring, and I never played it again. So I thought about what it was that made that game stop being interesting, and designed a game that didn’t have any of those issues.” —Guardian