Whoa! It's been a while since I last blogged! Sorry about that, readers!
Today is a special day indeed. It's the one-year anniversary of when I first got my Atari 2600s! I thought I'd post a little something here about my systems in particular. I already made a very long status update about this (which I'll archive here at the end of the blog so it doesn't disappear forever), but here in this blog entry I'd like to touch on the history of these systems from what I have heard through the years from my "ancestors".
There were two "dream systems" that I had always wanted, a Game Boy of some sort (I got a GBA) and an Atari 2600. I got both of them just a couple of months apart. However, once I achieved this lifelong goal of mine a cosmic balance was disturbed and the world imploded on itself (see: pandemic). I'm still happy to have them, though.
Today is all about Atari, not GBA. Ever since I was a wee lad (almost as long as I can remember, honestly), I have wanted a very specific Atari 2600: my dad's cousin's. Jon (that was his name) still had his childhood Atari 2600 sitting in his parents' basement all these years later, and I wanted it DESPERATELY. For years, I had envied his neglected Atari. When Jon's dad was moving in to a retirement community early last year, Jon and his family were downsizing and moving into his parents' old house. Downsizing meant getting rid of things they didn't use anymore. Downsizing meant I FINALLY GET AN ATARI!
Anyways, let's talk about these systems' histories. My dad was the first to get a console, a Magnavox Odyssey 2 (which is sadly no more). About a year later, (probably 1981) Jon got his woodgrain Atari VCS. The manufacture date on the system is June 27th 1981 (I hope it doesn't get picked for the lottery), so I'm guessing maybe Christmas of that year. I believe he may have spilled soda or something on this one given the state of the insides when I got it. The switchbox also had a pitchfork missing on it.
Later on, he must have gotten the Vader, which I could not find a manufacturing date inside of. This one worked just fine when I got it, and it's the 2600 I like to use. It matches my desk very well.
According to my dad, some of their favorite games growing up were Frogger, Pitfall!, Video Pinball, Pac-Man, Keystone Kapers, Donkey Kong, and Carnival. He also says that they thought that Pac-Man was great at the time and didn't really notice much of a difference from the arcade game. As kids, they spent many hours trying to figure out Raiders of the Lost Ark to no avail and played a lot of Air/Sea Battle and Combat together (Tank Pong all the way). And yes, they hated ET. My dad remembers that he and Jon were playing ET one day soon after it came out and another one of their friends came over. He took a look at the TV and asked, "What's the point of this game? To cut ET's mouth?". Jon and my dad started laughing really hard (for some reason), and to this day whenever my dad sees ET (the movie or the game), he'll bring up getting his mouth cut.
Oh, and the paddle games! My dad hated those. "If you just looked at it funny it would shoot to the other side of the screen," my dad once said regarding Breakout. And when I first played with them, yikes! It was very jittery. I fixed them, and now they work just fine. I've successfully converted my dad to the pro-paddle side.
I'm happy to have this system. Here's to another year of 2600 goodness!