Jump to content
Justin

On the 15th Anniversary of this website

Recommended Posts

On September 22, 2000 I soft-launched this website as Atari7800.com. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since this all began. 

 
The site was rich in content with lots of pictures and in-depth articles that told Atari’s history. A web store sold brand new Atari games and systems. We offered repair service where Atari no longer provided support and accepted PayPal when most vendors did not. Our Refurbished Atari systems were second to none, remanufactured with the highest-quality parts, new joysticks and bulletproof 3-year warranties. The 5200 and 7800 systems even received factory-replacement metal nameplates. 
 
That first year we were very busy with the new site. Blogs weren't really a thing yet (unless you counted GeoCities, TheGlobe.com, and AOL Hometown sites as blogs) though I was regularly posting what amounted to blog articles about Atari. One popular post was called "Raiders of the Lost Carts", which was probably the first of the sardonic Photoshopped Atari cart label collections. Another favorite article from November, 2000 gave a tour of Toys R Us store 7046 in Sugar Land, TX and looked at the influence Atari-era video games still had on what could be found in the store.
 
At the time, the Internet still felt like a new thing and most Atari-related websites were sparse with minimal graphics and basic facts. Some sites were pretty cool and had lots of detailed product specs and names of engineers who had once worked on this project or that. But there wasn't much to evoke the good-natured spirit of fun and simplicity that embodied how most people remember playing Atari games, or anything very exciting to spark a nostalgic fire in their belly to bring them back to the World of Atari. In the summer of 2000 I set out to change all that. At every level I tried to raise the standard of what was being done. Whether I succeeded or not is up to you.
 
 
 
 
computer_2.jpg
The site during soft launch, Fall 2000
 
 
 
 
In early 2014 I began rebuilding the website from scratch. I wanted a modern responsive site to showcase Atari products in a way that was on par with Apple or Google. I wanted to create a blog where I could publish articles that were deep and interesting, that told a story and made you think. I wanted to build a new community that was new and different from anything that had become before. I wanted to create a place that would be really special.
 
Most of my arcade friends are really into other game systems. When they talk about what they love - Dreamcast, Game Cube, even Pokémon - it's always about their love for these games and how much fun they have playing them. Yet it’s nearly impossible to talk about our love of Atari without first hearing “what sucked about Atari" or "ET is the worst video game ever made", or having to preface sharing your love for the 5200 or Jaguar with "I know the controllers sucked, but..."
 
We don't need to apologize for what we enjoy. We should be free to share our love for classic gaming and nostalgia with other friendly like-minded nostalgia gamers without ridicule or scorn. One of the foremost objectives of this site has been to create a new kind of community where we can really get to know each other away from all of the arguments, drama and scams. Atari was always meant to be fun. We've tried to create a space not just to talk about classic gaming, but to share personal stories of nostalgia and take part in activities and events that were meant to be fun and foster new friendships in the community. I think it's helped us attract a member base that is just insanely awesome.
 
Earlier in the Summer we celebrated the first anniversary of the new website and Atari I/O Forums. In such a short amount of time our little website has matured into a thriving community of new friends sharing old memories and a lifetime of nostalgia. 
 
I think today would be a good opportunity to recognize all of the people who have made this such a special place to spend our time. There's a lot of care that goes into the site.
 
 
 
 
OUR MOST ACTIVE MEMBERS
 
RickR
arenafoot
greenween
Rowsdower70
Mrs. Rowsdower
Atari Creep
Yo-Yo
nosweargamer
Video 61
leolinden
Dan Iacovelli
StormSurge
LeeJ07
Fire_In_The_Valley
Atari Adventure Square
atarilbc
RadioPoultry
RetroVideoGameNerd
AtariBrian
Clint Thompson
RetroX
extendedplayarcade
correagonzalez
KidA0723
Willie!
BlackCatz40
Atari Today
Jimbronie
Greyfox
Shark69
RetroTech
kjmann
an ox
Arcade Dude 44
Weird Paul
 
 
 
 
OUR MODERATING TEAM & SITE CONTRIBUTORS
 
MaximumRD
The Professor
btbfilms76
DeLorean Silhouette
Doctor Octagon
Zontar
Museum Matt
Atari Joe
Emily Grace Detering
 
 
 
 
AND THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED SINCE THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE SITE
 
Gene N. Landrum, Ph.D.
Regan Cheng
Emily Grace Detering
Lance Ringquist 
Charles "Chuckernaut” Goddeeris
Jenny Levasseur
Tevan Whiting
Jeff Minter
Daniel McMillan
Lost Ark Video Games
Vic Sage
The Retroist
Karl Morris
Julie Wade
David Newman
George Reese
Geraldene, and everybody else back at Atari Borregas who was always so helpful and so inspirational for so many years. It meant a lot to me then and it means so much more to me now. Thank you guys so much for making those rainy days after school so much fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats Justin!

There are indeed few spots on the web where like-minded folks can have civilized, positive discussions on things pertaining to the gaming world.

The appreciation of Atari's golden age nonetheless converges with today's sarcastic, self-involved approach to twit-talk dominating modern game tech. Cuz it's games.

Nowadays, seems everything blends the distinct colors of viewpoints into the mud-brown of trash-talk and trolling.

 

But, in those early days of cart games I reverted to a gentler, childlike mindset, a wonderment where the imagination needed to fill in the visual and storytelling gaps grew as we played and this led to an appreciation of all things, in their basic nature, as something that could mean so much more than what is shown.

I dunno if it's coming through, but I mean to say that as we used our imagination on a daily basis to game ourselves into a merry stupor, we became kinder, gentler in a way, or simply more open to the idea that there is so much more out there.

 

Today's gaming realm of confrontational co-op with strangers, overwhelming number of bloodlust experiences, focus on equipment over storylines - all this feels like my adolescence, where the hormonal howling at the moon overtook that child-in-me to go further as a physical being and leave everything (and every game) that made me a thinker behind, as I lept face forward into darkness.

 

Well, all this to say that as an adult gamer, I was all too glad to get back that sense of comfort in being a thinker, a now-mature discusser of things of all nature...but mostly retro life as its wonderment never lost its shine.

 

And the many areas to chat about this seemed littered with younger folks borne into the word-bash generation. It's not a generalization - lotsa cool folks of all ages are everywhere. Just made it kinda hard to get back some of what I thought was lost - that impression of coolness in retro - cuz the web seemed a modern place where old fogeys like myself just don't hang out.

 

Well, thanks to this long-running site, and my other favorite haunt: The Retroist, we have somewhere to be, to express, to share, to re-live and make new friends over old ideas.

 

You are all the coolest bunch of people. Folks who I've no doubt I'd make efforts to make friends with, in everyday neighbourly life.

So, you are the people in my neighborhood.

 

(and anybody who can sing the rest of this, proves my point)

 

Thanks all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOO HOO AWESOME! Congrats and here is to 15 more for a truly different and special site. It has truly evolved and become something unlike any other site.  :spot:

 

Congrats to all the team, members, admins, mods who make this a special place to be, my own issues, life, obligations keep me from being here as often as I would like believe me but I know when I do stop by there is always a vibe, a warm feeling of community that has been achieved here. Cheers to JUSTIN who is always committed and has done a great job pioneering and evolving the site to the high standard it has today! Classic Games, Good Times, Good Feelings and reliving it all here, escape the negativity and pressures of other so called classic gaming communities!  :thumb:

 

If I may just add, I have known Justin for sometime now meeting on-line through a mutual love of hobby, gaming, atari etc. And he has helped me tremendously in public and private chats, messages, videos through many issues and problems with advice or sometimes just a compassionate ear. I don't speak of such things much but he has been kind, generous, honest and never to busy to help so I take this special post to take a moment and say THANKS JUSTIN for everythingB)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody for the best wishes!

 

Classic Games, Good Times, Good Feelings and reliving it all here, escape the negativity and pressures of other so called classic gaming communities!  :thumb:

 

You know it!

 

 


If I may just add, I have known Justin for sometime now meeting on-line through a mutual love of hobby, gaming, atari etc. And he has helped me tremendously in public and private chats, messages, videos through many issues and problems with advice or sometimes just a compassionate ear. I don't speak of such things much but he has been kind, generous, honest and never to busy to help so I take this special post to take a moment and say THANKS JUSTIN for everything.   B)

 

Thanks for the warm words, MaximumRD. Your gratitude means a lot, but your continued friendship means even more. I'm sure you know that. Glad you're such a great part of this site  :beer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×