prog21: Purely Functional Retrogames, Part 1
When I started looking into functional languages in 1998, I had just come off a series of projects writing video games for underpowered hardware: Super Nintendo, SEGA Saturn, early PowerPC-based Macintoshes without any graphics acceleration. My benchmark for usefulness was "Can a programming language be used to write complex, performance intensive video games?"
After working through basic tutorials, and coming to grips with the lack of destructive updates, I started thinking about how to write trivial games, like Pac-Man or Defender, in a purely functional manner. Then I realized that it wasn't performance that was the issue, it was much more fundamental.
I had no idea how to structure the most trivial of games without using destructive updates.