On Old-Time Video Games

In 1982, my grandfather gave my family an Atari 2600, along with a half-dozen games (like Pac-Man, Combat, and a few others).

It was my first video game system. It’s still around, in the attic of my sister’s house, along with a bunch of games, some of which work, some of which don’t.

About the same time, we got our first computer — a Timex/Sinclair 1000, though that may have been a year earlier. It was an interesting, though rather useless, computer. Using books of BASIC programs, I keyed a few games into the system and saved them to cassette, games like Wumpus. I remember a bowling game, too, which I tried to interest my (other) grandfather in one day, though he wasn’t especially interested. We bought a pre-recorded game for the T/S-1000 — Frogger — though I only ever got it to work maybe twice. That was the problem with cassette storage, it didn’t always work.

Cassette storage vexed me with the next system I had — a TRS-80 Color Computer 2. (This one is also in my sister’s attic.)

What was the first game I played on a computer or a video game console? I don’t know, it was so long ago. I know I played Wumpus and Wumpus 2 on those early computers. I keyed in David Ahl’s “Super Star Trek” on the CoCo, as well. At times, I miss those long ago days; there was something fun about keying a program by hand into a BASIC interpreter and seeing what it did. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully, the end result would be worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I loved Combat on the 2600, especially the later levels where you could fly jets or biplanes. Especially the biplanes. I also loved the tank levels, especially with the shells that bounced, because they would bounce everywhere. And I have a great fondness for the Atari 2600 Pac-Man.

In this age of Windows and Linux and the World Wide Web, those 8-bit (or less!) days seem on occasion like such a simpler, yet more fulfilling, time.

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