Old video game in the news…


Yes, that’s right the old video game of Pong, OK, actually it was the first video game, not quite Pong.

I’m old enough to remember the first Pong games in the city of Toledo. They was one located in the entry of a K-mart store. At least I think it was a K-Mart. I remember the game, not really the store local. 1 quarter allowed you to play the game. My older brother would let me play it on his cash. Well, he was 12 years older and had a job, I was around 12 when they first came out. I remember those few games with my brother. I looked up to him, and he had time for a jerky little kid.

Fast forward a few years, and there were video arcades, games in bars, and of course home game systems. They all really started because of Pong. If you read the links, you will have found out that Pong was not the first video game. It was the first game to really take the home market. The same game you had to pay a quarter for, you could play for free at home whenever you wanted.

Back in the 80’s there was PacMan, Ms PacMan, DigDug, Q*bert, Centipede and many others. These also came to the home market. Soon the home market was bigger than the Arcade business, so much so that you are hard pressed to find any independent arcades anymore. There are some arcades in a few restaurants, or in Family activity centers that deal with things you just can’t fit in your home. Me I grew up in the age of the arcade. There was an arcade in almost every mall. There were arcades set out by themselves or in strip malls. Turn a corner and you could find a place to play a video game. I liked these games, and was very good at a few of them.

Then came the home consoles. I never did get the hang of those games. Quirky joy sticks that didn’t work quite the same as the arcade. No heavy duty track balls. No big red firing buttons. Then the games started to use game pads. Tiny buttons that you had to know exactly which one to push and when. Nope, never got into those. At first I said it was because the graphics were so poor on the home games, then of course it was the poor joy sticks. But of course the graphics got better than anything we saw in the arcades, but the interface was still not quite right.

A reader of this blog, and a friend pointed the way to arcade style controls in his blog. It would be interesting to have my own arcade style game, but for me not really needed. I have enough to fill my time right now, I don’t need to add an additional hobby. Sounds like fun, if someone wants to invite me to play on their home arcade, well I’d be willing to give it a whirl, but I won’t be putting in my own. Has to be someone with lots of room though. Those arcade games can take up a bit of space….

Does anyone remember the old Atari game console? What were your favorites? I found a list here. My favorite, was Pong at the arcade machine with my brother…

4 thoughts on “Old video game in the news…”

  1. Missile Command, cheesy Pac-Man. I remember playing Superman at K-Mart on their in-store system back in the day, Pitfall. Did Atari have Burgertime or was that Intellivision? Frogger, I loved Q*Bert. I agree, there was nothing like plopping down a quarter into the slot. We actually had an arcade in town for awhile before nasty rumors reared their head about drugs. Yes, even in little E-town.

  2. Good read JustJ! I knew about the oscilloscope game, but had forgotten what it was called. Indeed, Pong was not the first commercial arcade game but it is generally see as the first huge success and opened the way for many more successes to follow. Computer Space is recognized as the first commercial arcade game, though recently someone put forth an argument for another one released just before but was more of a prototype being tested and in the end failed.

    I went to the link you provided for the Atari games. I love how they don’t even use correct Atari 2600 screenshots for three of the five opting for arcade shots instead. Of those five, Adventure was probably the one I played the most. I remember finding out about the easter egg where the programmer put his name in the game at a time when their work went unrecognized. Of course nowadays when we finish a game we have to then go through credits that can be as long as those at the end of a movie. Activision probably made the best titles overall for that system. They even had those contests where you could take a picture of your TV screen and send it in for things like patches. I never earned the scores necessary, but it was still a good idea. Click here for a website that shows these patches.

  3. What?? E.T., the infamous buried-in-a-hole-in-the-desert, partial cause of the 1984 video game crash, recognized worst game of all time- is one of your favorite games?

    Ok, that said I like some pretty bad games too sometimes. 😳 And I remember Maze Craze- my brother and I would play that one a lot- but not Maze Mania. I’ll have to look that one up.

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