Now go outside and look at the sky.
If you have never played Elite - especially if you were just plain too late to experience Elite when it was fresh and exciting, then this article may sound like a discussion of wheat prices in ancient Rome.
When Elite came out in 1984, it pretty much blew all other computer games out of the water. On the BBC computer, the first platform it was published, its sales reached saturation - one game sold for every existing machine that can load it. That will probably never happen again in the history of game development.
I'm bringing this up not just because this game took away my summer of 1984, but also because there is a great article about the history of Elite and the two teen-genius programers who came up with it.
And if you want to check Elite out for yourself, you can play it in a Java applet that emulates a ZX Spectrum with Elite loaded up. Good Luck!