Before Angry Birds and Candy Crush, there was Solitaire and Minesweeper. But despite many people believing they were welcome little distractions from whatever task you were supposed to be doing, the makers of Microsoft Windows say they were actually developed to teach people how to use computers.
While many believe that Solitaire was designed to flaunt an interactive digital deck of cards, the game was actually created to familiarize computer users with the ‘drag and drop’ feature of the mouse.
Solitaire is a card game that has existed since the late 1700s and is the oldest Windows game and dates back to the 3.0 version released in 1990.
Minesweeper, the logic-based game, originally made its first appearance in the late 1960s but was introduced on the Windows 3.1 version in 1992.
Microsoft say that Windows developers wanted users to develop speed and precision when using the mouse and making left and right clicks a natural habit.
Hearts, introduced on 1992’s Windows for Workgroups 3.1 - the first version built for networks - was there to get people introduced in networking: you could communicate with other Hearts clients on a LAN.
According to Mental Floss, the games not only taught people how to use the computer without realizing it, but they also saw users become familiar with the operating system.
In fact, the games were so successful that every time Microsoft tried to remove them, they were met with protests from testers of the new OS.
In 2012 Microsoft Microsoft released Windows 8, which didn’t have the classic games. People could download them, but Solitaire and Minesweeper didn’t come bundled.
But perhaps Microsoft has realized its mistake because it is bringing back Solitaire for Windows 10.
The new Windows 10 is the first iteration that doesn’t come with them pre-installed but, you can still download them from the Windows Store, essentially the games way of teaching you how to download software,
When Windows tried to eliminate the games in the past, many people became furious and protested.