What does Atari mean to you? in Atari 2600 Posted April 23, 2011 My family's first Atari 2600 was a used one with games that my father bought for $50 from a friend. This would have been around 1980 when I was 7 or 8. My parents were broke as a joke, so this was a huge purchase for our family. I begged and begged for a copy of Asteroids for my birthday and they bought me that too at retail price! In retrospect, that was kind of like a miracle considering how poor we were. Most likely a relative gave them the money for it. My brother and I (and my mom) spent countless hours on our Atari all the way through our high school years and I have many fond memories of "playing Atari." We kept our high scores in a glossy pamphlet that came with one of the games for that purpose (wish I still had that bit of family history!). My brother's games were Berzerk and Pitfall, mine were Asteroids and Super Breakout, and my mom's were Space Invaders and Stampede. Each of us got so good at our respective games that no one in the neighborhood could beat us. Maze Craze was the "family game" that we shared an obsession for and we still play that when we get together at holidays. My mom and I loved playing Raiders of the Lost Ark together as well. When the Atari Flashback 2 came out, my brother and I unknowingly bought it for each other for Christmas. It was hilarious opening them at the same time, LOL. My brother got an NES in the late 80's, and although we used it a lot, it doesn't have the same nostalgia for us that the 2600 does. I think the fact that my mom, brother, and I all still have Atari units says a lot about the profound impact it had on us and the good memories it generated. My childhood wasn't great in other ways, and I remember in times of stress my mom saying, "Hey, want to play Atari?" We'd all forget our troubles for a few hours as we sat on the tattered couch in our drafty old house laughing our butts off as we played Freeway. So, that's what Atari means to me. What about you? The family that plays together stays together Great story.