Microsoft Solitaire turns 30 today, and the favourite of many bored office workers is still dealing more than 100 million hands every day.
The virtual card game first graced our retro, chunky, off-white computer screens back in 1990, and despite not changing or updating much at all over the years, Solitaire is still played by a whopping 35 million people every month.
It was first included in Windows 3.0 and was apparently designed to teach us how to use a mouse, rather than how to become a dab hand at card games.
World Video Game Hall of Fame/The Strong Museum
The clicking and grabbing motion of the virtual cards was created to teach us how to drag and drop – I mean, it’s not rocket science is it?
With the game being part of the world’s most popular operating system, it’s thought Solitaire is likely to have been installed in more than a billion units. Dang!
Solitaire was even entered into the World Video Game Hall of Fame last year, joining classics such as Doom, Tetris, World of Warcraft, and Halo: Combat Evolved.
Imagine a simple game you made to help people use a mouse making it into the World Video Game Hall of Fame…
Windows Solitaire is 30 years old today. It was programmed by an intern at Microsoft, to teach people how to use drag-and-drop with a mouse.
— Buck Woody (@BuckWoodyMSFT) May 22, 2020
Paul Jensen, Studio Manager for Microsoft Casual Games, spoke about Microsoft’s excitement to have Solitaire recognised:
Microsoft Solitaire being inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame makes this a historic day! It’s incredible to think that one of the most played video games in the world got its start in 1990 as a way for Microsoft to teach users how to use a mouse.
We are humbly honoured to have the opportunity to work on a game that has such broad appeal, is localised into 65 languages, and played in over 200 markets around the world, including Antarctica.
Jeremy Saucier, Assistant Vice President for Electronic Games and Interpretation, added how Solitaire proves that analog games can still be popular decades later, and also shows that a market exists for games that appeal to people of all types.
In many ways, it helped pave the way for the growth of the casual gaming market that remains so popular today.
Happy anniversary, Solitaire!
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