I read a book in the late 90’s that talked about the real history of computer viruses (iirc it was an Anti-Copy protection, but it’s been nearly 20years) and the fun factor. Honestly I can’t seem to remember the name or author of the book at all. I do remember it also talked about core war game where 2 people had to write a semi virus in a language called redcode. It actually intrigued me and I started doing assembly and debugging of com and exe’s with softice debugger. It all stopped when I started doing more Linux stuff, but I still remember some asm and to this day it helps me debug crashes.
Looks like core war lives on: http://www.corewar.info/emulator.htm
I know this is so old nobody is looking anymore, but if someone is, the best reading for DOS viruses (as well as wonderful general reading) is the back issues of the 40HEX zine, originally by Phalcon-Skism.
This issue of 40HEX covers the Ambulance Chaser virus depicted at the link.
Edit: And the hackers interview John McAfee, who was great to talk with apparently (I bet!)