Boredom can be a beautifully creative thing. When you’re truly desperate for entertainment there’s no telling what you can achieve — like creating one of the world’s best known computer games.
Great Big Story, interviewed Wes Cherry who created the original Windows Solitaire back in 1988 when he was interning at Microsoft. The game has become iconic as it’s been included in Windows product line for the last 27 years.
Officially, Microsoft included Solitaire in their products in the beginning to teach their users how to operate the computer mouse. However, it’s educational value was quick to fade and people welcomed the distraction by wasting countless hours in the game.
That’s fitting as Cherry came up with the idea to write Solitaire out of sheer boredom. Back in 1988, there wasn’t a whole lot of games to choose from (basically none), so if you wanted a game, you needed to create it yourself.
During the hectic schedule of a Microsoft internship, Cherry somehow managed to squeeze in a few hours to work on his pet project.
Unfortunately, since he was an intern when he wrote the game, Cherry didn’t receive any compensation for Solitaire.
At one time I said, if I only got a penny per copy I would be very rich. So far, only 14 people have made good on that. I’m still waiting for the rest of you.
That sucks, especially because Microsoft removed the best feature of the original game: ‘the boss key’.
Cherry apparently saw the beautiful time-wasting possibilities of his creation and made a button that would instantly bring up a spreadsheet, in case your boss walked by during intense solitaring.