Back then, Bill Gates became so obsessed with Minesweeper high scores that the Microsoft team had to come up with one he couldn’t beat.

Journalist Kyle Orland is writing an entire book on the history of Minesweeper (opens in new tab), which I suspect is a much more fascinating topic than it might first appear. Minesweeper is one of those games that seems ubiquitous now, always present no matter what PC you’re on, even though its roots go back to Microsoft’s early 90s and specifically the Windows 3.0 era. As part of the book launch campaign Ars Technica features a chapter on those early days (opens in new tab)and a huge fan of the game.

Minesweeper first appeared on Microsoft’s internal network in 1990, where several employees quickly became (understandably) hooked. “Needless to say, it was very well tested software at Microsoft,” said Charles Fitzgerald, product manager for the first Windows Entertainment Pack to contain Minesweeper.

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