Before Tesla And SpaceX, Elon Musk Worked In Video Games

Before Elon Musk was shooting his own Tesla roadster into space, he was doing other cool stuff. Like? Making video games, that's what.

Photo: Getty

As YouTuber Scott Manley points out (via NeoGAF), Musk has a "forgotten" career in video games. During the 1990s, he worked at Rocket Science Games, and his name appeared in the credits for Loadstar: The Legend of Tully Bodine and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs: The Second Cataclysm. Besides those games, Musk also worked on Rocket Jockey.

"We brought him in to write some very menial low-level code," said Rocket Science Games co-founder Peter Barrett in the best-selling bio Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future. "He was completely unflappable," Barrett continued. "After a short while, I don't think anyone was giving him any direction, and he ended up making what he wanted to make."

While at Rocket Science, Musk was tasked with writing drivers to allow input devices to communicate with games and hardware. "I was basically trying to figure out how you could multitask stuff, so you could read video from a CD, while running a game at the same time," said Musk in the bio.

This wasn't the first time Musk got paid for his game work. Below is Blastar, a title he programmed in 1984. The game was published in South African tech mag PC and Office Technology, netting a then 12-year-old Musk a cool $US500 ($635).

"In this game you have to destroy an alien space freighter, which is carrying deadly Hydrogen Bombs and Status Beam Machines," wrote Musk at that time (via Motherboard). "This game makes good use of sprites and animation, and in this sense makes the listing worth reading."


    Interesting reading. I personally believe that there's like 1% of people out there, that can do anything, anything they put theirs minds to. In this case Musk was writing device drivers or some such (which is not easy), to now potentially changing the world with their Tesla tech.

    Australia has some of the smartest people in many different industries, but I bet if you somehow made them change industry (medicine to say engineering) that they'd still excel.

      "there's like 1% of people out there, that can do anything, anything they put theirs minds to"

      Uh, that's anyone. Anyone can literally do anything with time, persistence, effort and understanding.

        i think he was eluding to the fact that there is 1% of the population that is naturally gifted from birth.

        no matter how hard you study, no matter how much time you have, you and i and 99% of the rest of the population could not out smart people like einstein, tesla, musk etc

        @nick I guess you misunderstood. 99% of people will never achieve the incredible. I'm certainly in that number, colour-me wishful.

        No some people are just stupid.
        There's plenty of people that lack the abilities to do anything they want.
        That's just something we tell children that they can be or do anything, it's just not true.

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