The Sinclair
Spectrum Games
Finder Service

"I'd be absorbed in these maps for weeks at a time, and once I'd done the geography, I'd start adding towns, and thinking about the people who lived in them.

"Then in 1982 I got a 16k Sinclair Spectrum computer, and took to programming that with these complicated adventure and strategy games, so those were probably early forms of novel-writing.

"They were exercises for the imagination, anyway, and early lessons in the technical aspects of stringing together a narrative, but I didn't actually start writing fiction until I was in my mid twenties, and living in Japan."

Far from encouraging Mitchell to idly waste his time zapping aliens, his home computer actually helped him explore and unleash his creative talents. As the author concedes at the end of the interview, that Sinclair Spectrum has a lot to answer for.

But now ask yourself this: can you imagine a kid sat doodling with an Xbox controller saying the same thing in 15 or 20 years time? I rather think not.

Judging by the results returned by the World of Spectrum website, none of Mitchell's programming exploits were ever published. However, if you know different, we'd like to hear from you.

Of course, there's always the possibility he's simply changed his name slightly and is actually the great Philip Mitchell, programmer of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Sherlock.

Then again, maybe that's us just making stuff up again. Pass the bottle will you?

// previous //

Sinclair Spectrum Software for
Sale and Wanted

Game on: The History and Culture of Videogames


Sinclair Spectrum Adventure Solutions
Sinclair Spectrum Games To Download

Read David Mitchell's Books

Cloud Atlas

Sinclair Spectrum