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Clint Thompson

Your Atari "firsts" memories and experiences...

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1 minute ago, Paul Westphal said:

I remember GIJoes on 82nd ave having a HUGE 2600 display kiosk with multiple games you could try. There were two game stores down at LLoyd Center mall. When the great crash hit, they had games for $10 and under. I think I got Space Jockey for $5.

My place of choice during the crash was the Kay-Bee Toys at Mall-205.  ET, Infiltrate, all the Realsports games were from their clearance bin. 

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I totally forgot about Mall 205 KayBee! I think the draw for The LLoyd Center was that it was an open air mall that you could walk your bike through. It would snow and rain in the center of the mall.

Also you could catch a glimpse of Tonya Harding ice skating once in a while, but that was a little later..

More later in life, I spent my days off at Electronics Boutique, always searching for the greatest Sega CD game ever. Then the Jaguar hit shelves. I DID see a official Aircars being sold there.

It was just the cart and manual, no box. THAT was telling. 🙂

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9 hours ago, Paul Westphal said:

Now I repair and restore all Atari. Funny how that works out.

Most of the game consoles in my collection, including one or two 2600 consoles, I bought in non-working condition because it was cheaper to obtain them that way and to try to fix 'em . So far all are working beautifully although I've got an original PlayStation having drive issues after a few minutes of game play.  Atari's are a bit easier to deal with, though.

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My first Atari memories date back only a short time... for all of you! I first remember being exposed to Atari 2600 games via emulation on my Nintendo Wii circa 2011. I had seen Space Invaders somewhere and was DYING to play it. After my Wii was hacked, my dad loaded up Spacinvad.bin for me. I instantly fell in love with the Atari 2600 and played great games like Combat, Berzerk, and Pac-Man with my dad for days, and by myself for nearly a decade! I am very grateful to have played those games on my Wii, and I'm happy to have all those emulators on it! But still, nothing beats the real thing.

I knew about my dad's cousins 2600 for almost as long if not a little bit longer. I so desperately wanted this thing, and I knew it was broken as well. I "subtly" (a second grader's definition of subtly) hinted at wanting the system. I feel a little embarrassed for being so pesky!

At about February of this year (BEFORE all the bad stuff happened), I was in my local game store when I spotted a Sears Video Arcade System II or whatever they're called. It was $60 and came with somewhere around ten games and all of the cords and whatnot. I didn't buy it. Shortly afterwards, I heard that my dad's cousin was moving out and downsizing! He was thinking of selling his 2600 and games to a game store, but was hesitant as he wasn't quite ready to part with it. He wanted it to stay in the family, and so now it's here with me! I'm very grateful to have this wonderful system! 2020 has been a real rough year, but there are always good things.

I've said this before, but he actually had two systems. Both needed RF adapters and minor repairs. I plan on giving one of the systems (woody) back to him if he wants it, but that has been delayed due to coronavirus.

I have had a blast FINALLY being able to collect for Atari systems over the past few months. I bet my story is wildly different than most of yours. I have always loved Atari, and now I can say that I actually have one! Or three, counting the 7800! Now, I just need an Odyssey 2...

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First Atari memory is still pretty clear.  Christmas 1982 we went to visit my aunt and grandmother in another state for Christmas and my older cousins had a 2600.  First time I had ever seen one and was not old or tall enough to play an arcade so they weren't on the radar yet.  First three games I watched them play was Pac-Man, Combat, and Joust.  First game I got to play was Joust and thought it was the most amazing thing ever.

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I know I have covered this with some feedback to Ferg on the 2600 Game By Game Podcast, but here are my memories.

My first memories of Atari is the Super Pong console my parents had. My dad would bring it out and we would play it for a while, then he would disconnect it so it would not stay on by accident and cause burn in on the tv.

Later on I went to a friends house and he showed us Space Invaders and I was hooked and had to have that game myself. On my birthday in 1981 I received the 2600. I think I finally pinpointed the date as I remember the games I received for that Christmas were 81 releases. I got Space Invaders, Air-Sea Battle, and of course Combat with the system. Then a few months later for Christmas I got Asteroids, Missile Command, and Video Pinball. The one thing I do remember was the frustration on waiting for a time to play as we only had one TV and my parents loved watching it, so I had to wait, sometimes days and maybe a few weeks, before I could play again.

One funny story was how we found out that Atari and Sears Tele-Games were the same games but with different names. One day, my dad and me were playing Air-Sea Battle and he said hold on, I have a surprise for you. He came back in the room with Target Fun. We plugged it in and found out it was the exact game we were just playing just a different name. Luckily we were able to return games back then without question and was able to get something else. Think that was how I ended up with either Human Cannonball or Sky Diver from a different store after that being afraid the same thing would happen at Sears again.

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6 minutes ago, Rocker67 said:

One funny story was how we found out that Atari and Sears Tele-Games were the same games but with different names. One day, my dad and me were playing Air-Sea Battle and he said hold on, I have a surprise for you. He came back in the room with Target Fun. We plugged it in and found out it was the exact game we were just playing just a different name. Luckily we were able to return games back then without question and was able to get something else. Think that was how I ended up with either Human Cannonball or Sky Diver from a different store after that being afraid the same thing would happen at Sears again.

I have always wondered if something like that had ever happened to someone with the Sears releases! I think the funniest part of this story is how you were playing Air-Sea Battle when he brought out Target Fun. You could've been playing Combat or Space Invaders, but no. You had to be playing the same game!

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One other memory just happened last year. A coworker knew I collected Atari stuff and said he inherited a storage space. Inside he found an old Sears TeleGames Light Sixer System. It was just the console only, so he brought it to me and I took it home. After a major cleaning and I mean a major cleaning, replacing the video cable that was falling apart, and checking the board carefully, I plugged it in, put in Video Pinball and turned it on. I played Video Pinball for a while after that. I ended up buying it from him and it is now part of my collection. It just showed me how hardy these systems were back then. I would put my money on any newer system being in that condition and never working again. These older systems were built like tanks.

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It brings up an interesting point that I had forgotten about.  Most people who owned Atari bought Atari games, and Sears buyers bought Sears games -- even though they were the exact same thing in different packaging.  I remember that my family would go to Sears a lot.  I'd look at the Atari games but always bought them elsewhere to get the Atari branded item.  For me, it was more about getting the more colorful and popular packaging.  But I'll bet a lot of parents assumed they were locked in to Sears games only. 

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21 minutes ago, HDN said:

I have always wondered if something like that had ever happened to someone with the Sears releases! I think the funniest part of this story is how you were playing Air-Sea Battle when he brought out Target Fun. You could've been playing Combat or Space Invaders, but no. You had to be playing the same game!

It was weird how that happened. If it had been one of the others, we might not have noticed right away. You probably had never seen excitement turn into disappointment so quickly in a child before as we went between both games and noticed they were exactly the same.

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On 12/8/2020 at 9:08 AM, Rocker67 said:

Later on I went to a friends house and he showed us Space Invaders and I was hooked and had to have that game myself. On my birthday in 1981 I received the 2600. I think I finally pinpointed the date as I remember the games I received for that Christmas were 81 releases. I got Space Invaders, Air-Sea Battle, and of course Combat with the system. Then a few months later for Christmas I got Asteroids, Missile Command, and Video Pinball. The one thing I do remember was the frustration on waiting for a time to play as we only had one TV and my parents loved watching it, so I had to wait, sometimes days and maybe a few weeks, before I could play again.

I don't remember which game it was but I had to have a 2600 after playing it at my friend's house. I got it in 1981 or 82.

That one TV in the house was definitely real back then 😆 Luckily for me, my parents didn't watch TV. I didn't have equipment conflict with them until several years later when I got into BBS and would tie up the home phone line.

 

On 12/8/2020 at 9:25 AM, RickR said:

It brings up an interesting point that I had forgotten about.  Most people who owned Atari bought Atari games, and Sears buyers bought Sears games -- even though they were the exact same thing in different packaging.  I remember that my family would go to Sears a lot.  I'd look at the Atari games but always bought them elsewhere to get the Atari branded item.  For me, it was more about getting the more colorful and popular packaging.  But I'll bet a lot of parents assumed they were locked in to Sears games only. 

I always wondered why people would buy those black boxes with the boring looking cartridges, but that makes total sense -- if you're a Sears shopper, you bought your games there. I'm also about the colorful packaging, and it was the reason why I got into collecting 2600 games. And now, it seems like a lot of the Sears games are all the rage for serious collectors.

 

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