Our kids log many, many hours in front of the Big Ass Television, and Playstation 3. They do other things, as well; it’s not all-consuming. But sometimes I worry they spend too much time playing video games.
However… I’m not one of those hand-wringing types who lie awake at night worried people are having fun somewhere, and vowing to put an end to it as soon as possible. So what if our children kill thousands and thousands of virtual Russians this summer? Is that such a terrible thing? I think not.
When I was their age I played video games, too. But I was never as into it as they are. I dabbled, only. We had Intellivision at our house, and I liked three games in particular: Burger Time, Astrosmash, and Night Stalker.
But my brother played a lot more than I did. And my mother even got semi-obsessed with Night Stalker for a while. That’s incredible, thinking back on it, but I remember her sitting in a beanbag chair for a couple of hours at a clip, playing that game. Weird, man. My mother doesn’t fit the profile, believe me…
I don’t really like games, in general. I hate board games, and always have. I’m not a big fan of card games, either, and would rather plunge my face into an industrial fan than do word searches, or play Sudoku, or any of that nonsense. I mean, seriously.
I have no games on my phone or computer, and never will. I simply have no interest.
But people are different, and enjoy different things. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder about it. I just prefer to screw around on the internet, read, write, and listen to music. I don’t even watch much TV. I could give it up today, I believe. Many days I don’t watch one minute of television. Today, for instance.
So, I’m far from a video game junkie. I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, though, and spent my fair share of time in arcades. My favorite arcade game, by far, is Galaga. I was never very good at it, but always had a great time. In fact, I played it not so long ago. Maybe at Knoebels? It’s still a blast.
The first video game I can remember seeing was called Death Race, and it was appealingly tasteless. You basically ran over pedestrians the whole time, and a white cross would appear whenever you offed another one. At the end, the whole screen would be full of crosses. Heh.
The Dunbar bowling alley had that game in their back room, and I liked it mostly because it was in bad taste, defiantly and gleefully. Needless to say, there was controversy surrounding it. Here’s a Wikipedia page about the late, great Death Race.
What’s your video game history? Were you into it big-time as a kid? Are you into it now? What do you play? Tell us all about it, won’t you?
Also, what’s your all-time favorite arcade game? And what was the first game that appeared on your radar screen? What piqued your interest in gaming, as it’s apparently called?
And now I’m gonna have a Mary Steenburgen frozen meal, and drag my ass to work.
See you guys again tomorrow.
Now playing in the bunker
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@clintcurtis- I forgot about “Pole Position”!!!!!
Thanks for the flashback!
Even though I play WoW…I still miss the pinball…
Never had a “console” (as they’re called), but I used to enjoy the arcade games in the 70s and 80s. Breakout was less lame than Pong. Later on I was a big fan of Ms Pac Man, Joust and especially Robotron.
Anyone here who is of the geek persuasion and likes the old games, might want to check out MAME – the Multipurpose Arcade Machine Emulator. Google will tell you all about it.
I once bought a computer game; it was a late 90s thing called Hellcats Over the Pacific, where you fly an F6F and try to shoot down Zeros.
icecycle66, I know someone who has an Area 51 machine in the basement rec room. Awesome game – I play it whenever I’m over there.
Anyone remember Leisure Suit Larry??!!!!
Great Googly Moogly says
At the arcade I always loved Zaxxon and was pretty good at it.
On the Atari 2600 I had a real knack for Yar’s revenge. I could shoot the swirls all day long with the Zorlon cannon.
On the Atari 5200 I ruled Star Raiders. It was one of the few games where I could really get in “The Zone” and just dominate.
Vicki, you read my mind. Legend of Zelda Links Awakening was my first video game. I loved it. Then I got the original Legend of Zelda and loved it. I’m still a Zelda fan. Now I play COD Modern Warfare 2. It’s awesome. I like to play hardcore team deathmatch. It’s a great way to relieve some stress sometimes, untill you start getting your ass kicked.
Oh yeah all of you guys reminiscing about all the old video games should check out http://www.romnation.net. It has emulators and thousands of roms for just about any video game console and arcade machine that you can play for free right on your pc. Most are easy to use. Of course there are some legality issues that say you have to delete them after one day but come on. I don’t think the FBI is going to bust down your door for playing Q-Bert on your pc.
First video game played was Pong. Saw it first flying out of the airport in Fort Wayne and they had it, kept wanting to go to the airport just to play it then got the home version.
Got the Intellivision in my 20’s and spent many nights getting high and playing Bi-planes, beam rider, tron, frogger & others! Galaga, Joust, and Pole Position were favs at the arcade. Hated pac man…
Love my wii and can kick some ass at mario kart:) Links Crossbow Training and Need for Speed are fun too.
fyi, all of the old nintendo games are available on the wii if you go to the online store.
Now I have pinball on wii, computer and itouch and love it. While it’s nothing like playing the real thing it’s the next best thing.
I have sudoku on itouch and droid and play it all the time along with bejeweled.
Son Of Sam says
Never liked video games. From reading the post I’m guessing I’m missing nothing.
In the early 80s my folks got a TRS-80 for my brother and I to play on. It had all the knockoff games. We had “Microbes” and “Munch Man”, which were allegedly suitable substitutes for “Asteroids” and “Pacman”. Not. I also remember a ski game in which the dude was entirely composed of five pixels. I purposely sent him smashing through every flag as I liked the sound it made. My older brother was more into the whole thing than me.
He eventually graduated to Mario Brothers, which I played a few times before losing interest. Currently he plays all the latest and greatest games, whatever those may be. Meanwhile my husband plays a Star Wars game every chance he gets on his computer.
As for myself, I play a few games online, Mahjong and Bounce Out mainly, but I’m also a big fan of those puzzle games, like where you have to move shit around to get from one place to the next. Other than that I have a handheld unit on which I play anagrams and hangman.
Spence: I’ll see your Nerd, and raise you a Geek.
Yeah Stuart, I remember Leisure Suit Larry. That game was kind of like being in a *ahem* gentlemen’s club. Lots of promises and titillation, but no delivery.
Anyone remember those early home PC-based games that were only text and you were like some elf or something and had to run around and solve puzzles?
No one mentioned Xybots. Another good one.
hot fuzz says
Henderson, were those the games where you typed in a verb like climb, walk, take, swim? You’d get a message like “you enter a room, there are jewels” and you type “take jewels”…
I seem to remember all would go along swimingly and then you’d get “you’ve entered a maze” and then from that point the basic code must have just said “goto line 2560” because you were trapped in a loop – ARRRGGGGHHHH
In grade 6 computer class, if the lesson was done early and the class behaved, we got to play “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”
We had an console in the early eightees, can’t remember the brand though…might have been a Coleco Telstar.
Pole position is probably my favourite arcade game.
I bought a used Nintendo in 1989, I still have it. My favourite game on it is Super Mario 3.
I bought a PS3 slim two months ago, mostly as a BluRay player and for watching TV and movies online (through TV Shack) but I did have to pick up Grand Theft Auto IV, because killing hookers and driving over cops is highly entertaining.
We had a TI-99 4A “computer”. It was a good place to start being a computer nerd, but it didn’t really take.
I kicked ass at TI-Invaders, Car Wars, and Munch Man.
You used a TV as a monitor so now with the BAT’s out there it would be sweeeeeeeet.
Later on I’m going to staple my dick to a banjo.
hot fuzz says
Did anyone else have a Timex Sinclair PC?
http://oldcomputers.net/ts1000.html it was so much fun programming in basic and saving my code to a tape recorder. This thing was like a laptop that you connected to your TV. Cool for its day I suppose.
Uncle Buzz in Wheeling says
Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, Doom 3.
That’s why I’m so laid back now. ‘Course, I’d rather just be laid.
Today’s quote: “Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.” ~ Kin Hubbard
I was forbidden to play video games as a teenager. I had quite a temper (still do at times), and my mother liked her windows intact. Picky woman.
I was, however, quite good at pinball. Maybe it’s a northern Maine thing.
These days, I save quarters for Bowling Alley day, and head straight to the Area 51 type games. Despite the fact that I am not a fan of guns, I am pretty good at killing aliens and felons on a video screen.
We have a Wii, but I stick to games like bowling and the like. My daughter is a Raving Rabbids fan.