Late night click frenzy: Hamilton, New Zealand; 1998; 15 years old; 2am. Having gone past my curfew time for sleep and internet usage, I crept back to bed hoping not to stir parents or sisters, still charged from my demon slaying.
This was back in the day where modems took up the phone line and sang a jittery tune to connect to the world wide web. I spent the night traversing the catacombs of Diablo as a warrior, where pixelated demon blood coated the gothic environments after every click, rendered in 2.5D at 640 x 480 pixels. The game’s atmosphere transcended its technological limitations and I was always immersed. “Come and stay a while,” my friend and mentor Deckard Cain would jubilantly exclaim, day after day.
That red tone—a crimson hue, sanguine in nature, dirty in shade—was smeared like demon’s blood all over my first Geocities website: “Stinky’s Diablo Page”, adorned with fiery red text caught alight by Photoshop filters. My first foray into making websites; a skill I’d continue to hone and develop throughout other late night frenzied clicking sessions with design software, one I’d continue to carry on 17 years later, wielding my mouse as a sword and keyboard as shield into the murky depths of the adult world.