My mom emailed me the other day and said she found some pictures I might get a kick out of, so the next time we got together she laid this gem on me…
Christmas Morning, 1981. I was 11 and, clearly, a Miami Dolphins fan (My dad is quick to remind me that I was fond of going around saying “It's not your Miami Dolphins, it's "My-ami Dolphins!” during this period. Also, I remember I had a Miami Dolphins helmet radio that was pretty darn cool.). But if you can get past that, you might notice my barely-containable grin competing with my glasses for the honor of being named Predominant Facial Feature. Oh, and then there is the reason for that smile… My Atari 2600. If you’ve read Deus ex Comica, you know this was my first and only console system until we got a Nintendo Wii for the family for Christmas 2007. I’m holding Asteroids, and the Atari box is helping prop up my Space Invaders and Breakout game boxes.
A few years ago (before we got the Wii), I picked up an Atari Flashback 2, one of those systems that has 40 vintage games preloaded and includes a pair of Atari joysticks. It was dirt cheap and we don’t play it a lot, but I enjoy playing (and reliving) Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, and Pitfall every now and again. Those were the games I loved as a kid.
Back in the day, Pitfall eventually became my favorite game for the Atari 2600, but Asteroids was probably the perfect game for the console. Simple concept but surprisingly challenging. Uncomplicated graphics that were perfect for the dawn of gaming.
Yeah, I’m a child of the ‘80s.