Play the Video Game Elon Musk Coded When He Was 12

In 1984, Elon went by "E. R." and he made a bad video game.

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Jun 9 2015, 4:18pm

Screengrab: blastar-1984.appspot.com

In 1984, code for a video game called Blastar written by "E. R. Musk" appeared on page 69 of PC and Office Technology, a South African consumer technology magazine. More than 30 years later, "E. R." goes by Elon, and you can finally actually play the game he created when he was 12.

The code for the game was obtained from Musk's mom, Maye Musk, by Ashlee Vance, who published it in his best-selling Musk biography. A reader named Tomas Lloret then turned it into a game that you can play online, for free.

Blastar is basically like a stripped-down version of Alien Invaders where you shoot down enemies who are trying to kill you with hydrogen bombs and "status beams," whatever the hell those are. It's not great, but it's still pretty damn impressive for a 12 year old; according to Vance, Musk sold the game to the magazine for $500.

"In this game you have to destroy an alien space freighter, which is carrying deadly Hydrogen Bombs and Status Beam Machines," wrote a young Musk, describing the game to PC and Office Technology. "This game make good use of sprites and animation, and in this sense makes the listing worth reading."

Screengrab: blastar-1984.appspot.com

One upside of Musk's childhood creation being realized could be all the confusion about the game finally being put to rest. We can now all rest easy knowing that, no, Musk did not code the 1993 game Blastar, which was released for the Commodore Amiga. He also did not code Blaster, which was an obscure and short-lived arcade game released in 1983 that didn't make it on to a console. No, Musk's game is much, much more primitive than any of those.

But hey, the guy's making rockets now, so maybe we should just all be glad that Elon went the Good Guy Lex Luthor route instead of developing video games. Let's just hope he never decides to attach deadly status beams to SpaceX rockets.