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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ramblings about classic video games...

Last week, Rich and I went to Goodtimes to have a couple of drinks and play some video games. One of the games I played was Asteroids. I couldn't help but notice the copyright date: 1979. Yes, 1979. Which means that this will be a thirty year old game in a mere three years.

It's hard to believe that video games have been around for thirty years!

There are video games that pre-date Asteroids, of course. Pong is an example of one of those. Take a look at the home console version of Pong and compare it to, say, Playstation 2 or XBox 360. Video game consoles have certainly come a long way since the days of Pong, both graphically and in console design. Arcade consoles have also come a long way. Take a look at the one of the first arcade systems, Computer Space. It's a far cry from the arcade machines we are used to, today. Just try to picture playing Dance Dance Revolution with a machine that looks like the Computer Space one! I would imagine it would be insanely difficult!

I've always been partial to classic consoles. That's probably because I first started playing video games when I was around nine years old. I used to spend hours and countless quarters playing games like Donkey Kong and Pac Man. There were no arcades near where I lived, and my family couldn't afford an Atari 2600, so I had to settle for playing the Ms. Pac Man machine in the local IHOP, using the arcade in Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire (which was about thirty miles from where I live), or playing with my cousin's Atari 2600, which she hardly ever let me use.

Eventually, my family got me a handheld version of Pac Man, which I played to death. They didn't get me the one shaped like an arcade console; I got this one. But it didn't matter; I was a Pac Man nut. When my mother refused to buy me a Pac Man stuffed toy, I made one myself using the lily pad from my See Wees doll, some yellow fabric and a needle and thread. I even collected the little vinyl figures of Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man! And I was ga-ga for the Pac Man trading cards.

It makes sense then, that my love for video games has been passed down to my son. I like to tell him his first exposure to video games was when I would play with the Nintendo for hours while he was in my womb. Anyway, when I see my son playing something like Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006 for the Playstation 2, I remember back when video games consisted of pixelated graphics. These days, the graphics are looking more and more realistic. If only we could have had the ability to see into the future during the initial video game boom in the early '80s; our minds would have been blown!

5 Comments:

Blogger hedgehogman said...

pacman?
i like it also. I play it very well at my CGA computer ( about 10 years ago ), I can win the game, until the level was reset to level one again.

also I have pacman boardgame... but the board game isnt as good as the video games

2:26 AM  
Blogger S. Scott Craft said...

Pacman, I have that game on my computer, along with some other classic video games. Do you remember a song call, "Pacman Fever". Pretty neat, I don't think any other video game has its own pop song.

Wishing You Good Health And Plenty Of Health,
S. Scott Craft

1:21 AM  
Blogger panda cookie said...

S.S.: I have "Pac Man Fever" on my MP3 player. I used to be in LOVE with that song. And actually, Buckner and Garcia (the guys that recorded that song) did other videogame related songs, like "Do The Donkey Kong" and "Ode To A Centipede", which I also have on MP3 somewhere on my player.

1:58 AM  
Blogger fizdane said...

Still missing classic games :)

6:19 AM  
Blogger fizdane said...

Still missing classic games. :)
Sometimes I play SNES, ATARI, NEOGAMES emulator on PC.

6:20 AM  

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