In the ever-intriguing world of technology and gaming, one question seems to be popping up in online discussions: Did Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist, and self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, contribute to the programming of the vintage video game “Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension”?
This question, fueled by social media claims and a mention from Wright himself in a lengthy YouTube video, has prompted some digital sleuthing from Frank Rundatz, a developer with an avid interest in the case. The main issue boils down to one thing: Is it even plausible for a young Craig Wright to have been involved in this 1985 classic?
Born in October 1970, Craig Wright would have been around 14 or 15 years old when “Buckaroo Bonzai” hit the gaming scene. Developed by Adventure International in Florida, the game is a hallmark of 1980s entertainment. Now, given the timing and the geographical distance, some raised eyebrows are justified. How would a teenager living in Australia be involved in a game created in the United States? Was it even possible given the technological constraints of the time?
Did Craig Wright participate in the programming of the video game Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension? Craig was born in October of 1970 and was living in Australia at the time that the classic game was released in 1985.— Frank Rundatz (@FrankRundatz) October 6, 2023
Today I saw on Twitter a reference to Craig Wright… pic.twitter.com/LZDwZgAaTc
Scott Adams, the founder of Adventure International, seemed like the right person to ask. Rundatz reached out to him and got a rather straightforward response. Adams said he didn’t recall the name Craig Wright at all, stating that the game was developed “in house” by his team. Now, Adams didn’t entirely rule out the possibility that Wright could have been a tester, but that’s about it. No mentions of Wright having a hand in the coding or game design.
Here’s where things get interesting: the internet, as we know it, was pretty much non-existent in the mid-’80s. The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which underpins the web, was only introduced in 1989. Before that, most corporate networks didn’t use Internet Protocol (IP). In fact, internet access in the ’80s was so rare that Rundatz highlights how, even by 1996 when he started an Internet Service Provider (ISP), internet access was not a given.
So, let’s get back to young Craig Wright. How could a 14-year-old, living in Australia, with no access to the modern internet, collaborate with a gaming company based in Florida? Rundatz himself got his first modem in 1985, and it cost him about a dollar a minute to connect to a computer just 8 miles away, thanks to long-distance call charges. The logistics alone make it highly unlikely. How would Wright have communicated with the developers? How would he have reported bugs? How would he have accessed or shared source code? Sending a physical package across continents wasn’t exactly quick or cheap either.
All of these questions point to a glaring issue. The claim just doesn’t add up. Even if Wright did have a modem, the constraints of the time, the cost, and the geographical distance make the whole notion of his involvement more of a head-scratcher than a plausible fact. Adams’ own lack of recollection about Wright in his response only adds more weight to the skepticism.
In light of the subject matter, it’s essential to consider the ongoing scrutiny around Craig Wright’s claims and past activities. A comment from a user named Diginaut adds another layer to the discourse. Diginaut finds it perplexing that Wright, currently involved in the COPA trial, is seemingly unaffected by the allegedly forged documents he submitted in previous legal battles, the Kleiman trial and the Hodlonaut trial. According to Diginaut, it’s hard to understand why those “mountains of forgeries” can’t be used against him in his current trial, allowing him the opportunity to perhaps produce “new and improved forgeries.”
In conclusion, the idea that a teenage Craig Wright in Australia collaborated on a game being developed in Florida during the mid-’80s seems far from likely. The logistical complications and technological constraints make it highly improbable. Scott Adams’ polite dismissal of the notion further underscores the skepticism. Coupled with Diginaut’s commentary, it’s evident that claims surrounding Wright continue to be a source of debate and skepticism. Is the case 100% closed? Well, nothing ever is, but for now, it seems like this particular tale might belong more in the realm of urban legend than historical fact.
- Lucy Walker is a journalist that covers finance, health and beauty since 2014. She has been writing for various online publications.
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