If this wasn't a big red flag that I was on the spectrum I don't know what would be! From an early age I loved video games and I really didn't dislike any genre. However, when I was 10, I found a game that was nothing short of pure bliss. This game was nothing short of awesome combining cut throat strategy, geography, and money. Sounds awesome right? Now, if I say it involves airplanes does that make it even better? And not only that but they're officially licensed planes! That sounds super amazing, right? Now, what if I were to say you don't actually fly the planes? Well, you don't, and that's okay because this game is an airline CEO simulation!
The game was Aerobiz and from the first time I read about it to the first time I rented it I was in heaven. My love of this game might have been teetering on the level of an obsession. From the colors, to the music, and the graphs this game was sensory heaven.
At school this was the thing I talked about for weeks on end. One day, after we moved to Saint Louis, a couple friends were coming over and I had a rented copy of Aerobiz (I rented that game at least 100 times!) and my Dad advised me, "Aaron, don't ask if they want to play Aerobiz because they don't." This confused me because everyone should have wanted to play that game. There wasn't one ounce of thought in my body that said a person could dislike that game because it was the supreme game of all time.
Of course, when those people came over, the first thing we did was Aerobiz and I tried to explain how opening a route worked and how matching the right plane to the right route was important and that when a price war happens you've got to sometimes barely break even to not allow the competition a foothold in the market and after five minutes the two of them were staring at me as if I were trying to explain quantum mechanics. They never came back to my house again.
The few times I have gotten people interested in the game were some of the best gaming moments ever. My sister-in-law got hooked the same way I did and when I was 12 I think we played for 10 hours straight. Also, a friend that lived behind me was just as interested and we probably played through the game 20 times, plus we played through the sequel Aerobiz Supersonic.
I think it would be safe to say that Aerobiz was a strong Kansas but at the time, and even now, I don't understand how someone couldn't find this game engrossing, awesome, and the best game ever. I often get comments of, "oh, that sounds like an awful game" and when I hear that I don't know how to respond. Okay, I understand a little bit more than I used to as to why people wouldn't find this game interesting; I mean, there's no guns, you don't fly the planes, and you can play the stock market in the game. As game designers sit down today I doubt that those are the markers of a sure-fire hit. Back then though I imposed this game on everyone. It was the only game that mattered and I was sure every other 10 year old shared my passion for it. I was oblivious to the fact that no one else shared in it, but thinking back on those days, when someone else entered my Kansas, those were the best moments ever.