“Hello my name is Brendan. When I come home from school I eat toast. I like to sing and kick my brothers and sisters in the shins. My brothers and sisters are smelly but OK. Some times we like to paint. But we do not like the real paint. No. We like the paint on the computer. It does not get on your hands and it has bears in it. It is called Paint and Create and it is good.”
– Extract from a fictional review of Paint and Create. By Brendan, aged 6.
Paint and Create was an educate ‘em up full of minigames and playful lessons about spelling, drawing and music. One of the games involved choosing instruments for three teddy bears. This was called “Top of the Teds” and was designed to see if instruments worked together to create harmonious MIDI noise or an unrestrained aural disaster. Like that bit in Final Fantasy VIII with the tap dancing.
It was also frustrating for me and my infinite brothers and sisters. For starters, it worked best with a mouse and some of the minigames didn’t seem to work without a cursor. But we did not yet own this strange device. When we encountered the non-functional minigame, our limitless pairs of eyes swiveled round to face our mother, who looked down at our horde with love and fear, and said: “We can’t do that. We need a mouse.”
Our indignant reply echoed throughout the countryside.
I could go back and visit Paint and Create. Some archivists have captured and digitised a copy for historical and nostalgic purposes. But I prefer to live permanently in a state of unsullied and inaccurate remembrance. I don’t want a repeat of the Links incident.