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How to play Star Raiders with a 3 year old



My wife tells me that our three year old granddaughter may be a little to young to enjoy a game of Star Raiders. To which I said, "You may be right." And then I put the cartridge in.

I have to admit that the first try was not all that successful. I gave her the joystick and she found the fire button. She just kept firing till she hit something. I told her it was a rock and then everything she hit was a rock. I worked the keyboard while she fired away. She wasn't much of a pilot, the joystick looked about 10X bigger in her hands. We played until the ship sustained enough damage to end the game. She declined the offer to play another round.

Then it dawned on me to wire a remote button into one of my joysticks(you may have seen this done before). That way I could pilot the ship and she could concentrate on firing the cannons.

I chose to add an RCA socket onto the joystick so that the remote button could be disconnected for standard use. The socket was wired in parallel with the joystick button. Then a RCA plug, length of wire, normally open push button and plastic box were assembled as the remote.




On her next visit we had a much more enjoyable game. I could pilot the ship and work the keyboard while she blew up the enemy ships. This time we made it through till the energy was used up. I didn't try to refuel; we're not at the point where we realize that not every thing gets blown up.

I still got a "no" when asked about a second game.

As a plus, we did get to practice letter-word association skills. I kept calling out the letters for the commands. "C for Computer" , "F for Forward", "A for Aft", etc. I do hope she won't get into trouble when her future teacher asks what the letter "H" stands for and she says "Hyperspace".

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I think the switch I used was from the way-back. Right out of my junk box.


I checked out the selection of arcade buttons and I should get a few to have on hand.

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