Minesweeper by Kyle Orland
Release Date: July 12, 2023
If you had some free time and a Windows PC in the 1990s, your mouse probably crawled its way to Minesweeper, an exciting watch-where-you-click puzzle game with a ticking clock and a ton of “just one more game” replayability.
Originally sold as part of a “big box” bundle of simple games, Minesweeper became a cornerstone of the Windows experience when it was pre-installed with every copy of Windows 3.1 and decades of subsequent OS updates. Alongside fellow Windows gaming staple Solitaire, Minesweeper wound up on more devices than nearly any other video game in history.
Sweeping through a minefield of explosive storylines, Journalist Kyle Orland reveals how Minesweeper caused an identity crisis within Microsoft, ensnared a certain Microsoft CEO with its addictive gameplay, dismayed panicky pundits, micromanagers, and legislators around the world, inspired a passionate competitive community that discovered how to break the game, and predicted the rise of casual gaming by nearly two decades.
Kyle Orland got his start writing about video games at the age of 14, when he founded ‘90s fan site Super Mario Bros. HQ on his parents’ AOL web space. Since then he’s somehow put together a career writing and saying millions of aggregate words about games for dozens of outlets ranging from NPR and MSNBC to Electronic Gaming Monthly and Paste Magazine. He’s been the Senior Gaming Editor at Ars Technica since 2012. Kyle is the author of Wiley Publishing’s Wii for Dummies and Farmville for Dummies, as well as two collections of reporting and criticism—The Game Beat and Save Point—both published by Carnegie Mellon’s ETC Press.