No matter what I want to think or believe, my first Atari wasn't really mine. No, it didn't belong to a neighbor or one of my parents.
Believe it or not, it belonged to my grandparents. Sometime around 1981-82, they wanted something to entertain the grand kids and bought the system.
I was the third grandchild. I had two older cousins, one born in 69, the other in 73 (I am a 77 baby). So, they decided to buy the hottest thing on the game/toy market at the time, the Atari 2600.
I can remember watching my older cousins play Asteroids, Centipede, and Pac-Man, or was it Ms. Pac-Man? Those were great games. They let me play sometimes, and I can vividly recall getting excited when Grandma would let us buy new games. I bought Pitfall when I was about 6 and played it until my wrists and fingers hurt.
And there were other games too. I can't even remember them all. What I do remember is summer days spent at my grandparents house. Grandma made breakfast every morning. I would swim during the day, watch the news with them when my grandfather came home from work, and then spend the evening in the back bedroom, on the "second TV" playing Atari. Sometimes with my cousins, sometimes with the kids from next door, but often times...just by myself. I was hooked on gaming, and the Atari 2600 was my gateway drug.