Sunday, December 28, 2008

Flashback: Atari!

This year, Christmas presents were a little thin around our house. Sera got the lion's share of the presents, as is only right. We made sure that the rest of our families and their kids were taken care of, and we tried to catch up on bills. Magi's dad and stepmother were generous as they always are, but we had to use that money to buy presents until we get paid again on January 2. On that day we both receive retro pay to cover the raise our association just negotiated for the new school year. They say we'd better enjoy it; with the economy in the tank, it's not very likely we'll get one at all next year. I'm not complaining. At least we'll still have our jobs!

I got Magi a professional knife sharpening station. We have a good assortment of knives, but they get dull way too fast and it's never fun to cook with dull knives. I had Magi cancel what she was going to get me, so I got a couple of books, and a Detroit Tigers beach towel and wall calendar. My dad sent me a hatchet that he made with "Native American" (he's 1/16 Native American) glyphs for which only he knows the meaning. But in my stocking this year was a truly great present. The Atari Plug-N-Play video game controller turns any TV with an RCA jack input into an Atari 2600 video game system with 10 games on it. With brilliant 8-bit graphics and powerful mono sound, this little machine will keep me entertained for hours and hours of fun!

I didn't have a video game system when I was a kid, but my mom did, so my brother and sister got to play it all the time growing up. I got to play with it sporadically when I went to visit them, and I never got enough. Now I can play some of my favorite games as often as I want. This particular version came with Centipede, Asteroids, Missile Command, Pong, Breakout, Adventure (my favorite), Circus Atari, Yar's Revenge, and some kind of Volleyball. You can be sure this will be going to school with me when we return a week from tomorrow, so I can share with my kids what real video games were like back the day!

One really nice thing about this unit is the quality of the controller. If you were playing video games back then, you might remember that the controllers were a little fragile. There was a little plastic piece inside the handle that touched the connections inside and it was prone to break every couple of weeks or so. You could get replacements, but it took time away from your busy playing schedule. This controller is heavy-duty and built to last. I'll be taking this with me on spring break for sure. Since it runs on four AA batteries, I can even plug it into Sera's extra DVD player screen in the car on the trip!

Wii users, eat your hearts out!

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Haha, nothing beats good old retro games. I'm jealous!