This month the Atari 2600 celebrated its 30th birthday. In honor of this momentous occasion, RetroThing has just wrapped up Atari Week reminding so many of us where are love of video gaming originated.
It got me thinking about my video gaming roots so I put together a brief genealogy of video gaming at the Gale house.
1. In the beginning was Atari 2600.
2. And Atari 2600 begat TI-99/4A.
3. And TI-99/4A begat Colecovision.
4. And Colecovision begat Intellivsion.
5. And Intellivsion begat NES and the people did rejoice exceedingly.
6. And NES begat Sega Genesis.
7. And Sega Genesis begat SNES.
8. And SNES begat N64 which begat PlayStation.
9. And PlayStation lived many years and was fruitful in the land.
10. And PlayStation begat Dreamcast.
11. And Dreamcast begat Xbox and Xbox became modded and was highly favored of the people.
12. And Xbox still holds a special place amongst the noble and great ones.
13. And Xbox begat Wii.
14. And Wii begat Xbox 360 and thus ended the reign of video games.
Our family was pretty cutting-edge when it came to console gaming. We were usually the first one on the block with the “new” system (due in part to my mother being employed at ToyWorld [later Kay-Bee Toys] for the better part of my childhood) and a large part of our discretionary income was spent on expanding our games library. With the exception of the PS2 and the Sega Saturn I think I pretty much covered all the important console bases growing up. The neighborhood kids flocked to our basement and many a Friday night was spent trying to beat a standing Hi Score (to this day I think my MouseTrap, Asteroids, Tetris and Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins records still stand). Ahh the good old days.
Here’s the funny thing about video games…with very few exceptions (Guitar Hero, Wii Sports and a few driving games) the old classics are far more entertaining and enjoyable to me than any of the games available today. I still have my old Xbox running emulators of all the great systems including Coleco, Atari 2600 and the original NES. Invariably I’ll catch myself playing Excitebike, Tetris or Super Mario Bros. far more often than Halo, Madden or Ghost Recon.
I guess it’s true what they say…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Maybe we just don’t want to learn.
Happy birthday Atari VCS.