Johnson did not really want to go the 1983 Amusement Operators Expo. Sure he liked video games as much as the next person, but his job working at a game maker was only a step on his path to big business success. As soon as he finished his MBA at night school, he would be done with this kids’ stuff and go to work for a company that manufactured planes or cars. Things adults used. Still, he was sent to do a job and he took it seriously, methodically covering each aisle and sizing up the competition.
He had spent some time at the Sega booth. Loading up on swag, a t-shirt and a hat, he then turned down the aisle and spotted the area Gottlieb had reserved. Things looked chaotic there and he was just about to move along when he spotted…HIM.
Their eyes met across the crowded hall and the chemistry was unmistakable. He didn’t know what a Q*bert was, but this was no ordinary digital creation. He knew in an instant that this orange ball with the long nose was his new magnetic north, his soul mate.
The above photo was the last one ever taken of Johnson. It appeared in a 1983 issue of Video Games magazine.
Some say that Johnson is still out there, traveling from arcade to arcade maintaining old Q*bert arcade machines and keeping the dream alive. Some might think that isn’t the best way for a person to spend their life, but look at this photo. In it you see a moment of pure truth, when all of a single human’s destiny becomes crystal clear. Those who argue with truth are fated to never find it.
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