Artic Computing – Letter from Chris Thornton

This was in response to my first machine code game on the 8-bit Atari in 1983 – Storm in a Teacup (yeah, I know, I should sue!)

I used a pseudonym as you can see. It didn’t last. Chris knew I wasn’t a James Kent because all the names I included in the credits list were definitely not of the “James Kent” variety and very much of the “Shahid Ahmad and family” variety.

Still, it suited me. I used the name James Kent for a couple of games before I decided to drop it. In the end, calling myself James was just a test to see if it was racism that was the main factor behind my games getting rejected. It wasn’t. My earlier games had been rejected because they were shit and written in BASIC. Storm in a Teacup was shit too, but it was written in Assembler, got me about £300 and up to Hull for a day or two.

A 17 year old being picked up from Hull station in an XR3i was quite a thing back then. It was a white XR3i, but it didn’t matter.

I liked Chris a lot. He was a funny guy, genuine and decent. I’d love to know what he’s up to today. Anyone know? Anyway, enjoy this letter.

Letter from Artic  1