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What does Atari mean to you?

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I was about 13 when I went to a friend's house and played Combat. I loved it and had to have an Atari, so I asked my dad for one. He told me if I wanted to work for it he would help me. I remember my entire family making posts to sell. My dad cut down the trees and the rest of us limbed them and loaded them onto the truck. We eventually made $200 which went for an Atari and a copy of Space Invaders. Later on I got Asteroids, Missile Command, Adventure, Berzerk, Star Raiders, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Warlords, and Pac-Man. Good times. :)

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The Atari 2600 was like a good friend to me...

 

First game: Combat (Christmas 1979)

later Street Racer and Chopper Command as the first third-party game

 

My other games until 1984:

Space Invaders, Missile Command, Circus Atari, Smurf, Pole Position, Joust, Moon Patrol, Obelix.

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Some of the better gaming sessions is when we set up a tent in wood-paneled basement and had grandparents make us those frozen tv dinners in the aluminum trays. And we'd have the lights turn down, just right, and a tv inside the tent. Excess pillows and couch cushions positioned just so. Great sleepover fun.

 

Many a nights we could stay up late till like 1am. On occasion somebody would bring over a vic-20 or intellivision or some other popular system of the time and we would be gaming on TWO sets simultaneously.

 

It should be noted that R/C cars and model rockets and Atari VCS were all equal fun. The gaming fun dissipated once we started to try and collect everything. It really became a chore and hassle. I would not, since then, till now have enjoyed the games for the games if it weren't for emulation. You see, I can hav'em all on a disk, and stashed out of the way. AND just bring the favorites and hits to the forefront of my attention. Good times, rich times ahead!! Going up!

Edited by Keatah
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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.

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I just looked up on the inflation calculator how much that $200 VCS from 1977 would cost today -- $711. Yow!

 

Thanks, Mom and Dad! You were way too good to me.

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It was 1985, I was 4 years old, we just moved to Newfoundland and was living with my grandmother. Next door lived my older cousin, about 10 I guess. My only strong memory is watching him play Night Driver with a steering wheel and gas pedal and all. I was amazed. I Don't remember what else I liked back then but I knew I wanted one. Luckily I was able to adopt some of his games in later years when he got an NES.

Along came Xmas '86 and, between my sister and I, we got an Atari 2600 (the Junior model) with 6 games. Asteroids, Defender, Missile Command, Pac-Man, Yar's Revenge & Frogger. I remember it really bugged me that Frogger's cart didn't match the rest. Then a few months later for Easter I got Star Raiders. That game was a bit above my head at first, but once I got on a roll I felt like I was piloting the Millenium Falcon with that Video Touch Pad. I memorized the keypad layout so that I wouldnt have to use the overlay, I thought it looked more like a spaceship control panel from TV/Movies with just a pad of identical unmarked buttons! Plus I would just randomly tap the unused buttons while pretending to get info from my 'battle-computer/co-pilot/whatever. I always wondered why it had so many when you needed so few. I didn't know other games used a keypad as well! My Defender manual still has my Dad's high score in it, he was up to wave 37. That and Yar's revenge he used to play a lot.

During 87-88 I aquired about 20 more games (for free luckily) from family members and friends who had gotten Nintendo's and now their parents were getting rid of their Atari stuff. I received some classics like Pitfall, Combat, Starmaster, & Joust. As well I played a lot of Basketball, Skiing, Armor Ambush, E.T., SwordQuest: EarthWorld, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sky Jinks, Super Challenge Baseball. Then my birthday, summer of '89 I got my first 'new' game in a long time, Q*bert. Finally Xmas of '89 I got Defender II. That would be my last new game, because then summer of 1990 I received an SMS from my uncle. Wasn't even sure what a Sega Master System was, but thats another story for another message board...

From 86 to 90 that Atari got SOLID use, I remember being on my 3rd adapter at the end of it. Many a 'sick' day was taken from school just to stay home and play Atari. Even though it was the late 80's and I was playing a decade old system when most of my friends had Nintendo's I didn't really care, the graphic issue never really occured to me, I new the NES had pretty graphics but I still loved playing my Atari, even after I got a Sega Master System and Sega Genesis!

Because then during the mid 90's my first taste for Retrogaming hit. I was able to aquire some more 2600 games through trades. Some notable titles were Enduro, Double Dragon, SwordQuest:FireWorld, Space Invaders, Dig-Dug & Solaris. I remember trading away my only copies of Air-Sea Battle, Armor Ambush, Realsports Football & Word Zapper for sure, can't remember what else right now. I also got a 7800 copy of Pole Position II, not sure whatever happened to that cart, must have traded it, cause I don't have it anymore.

Then around 1999-2001 I got back into the retroscene however I discovered my old 2600jr was dead. I decided against buying one online because I didn't want to pay so much shipping, plus I had discovered Emulation! Have fallen in love with a lot of games I had never even heard of. Finally got to play Adventure and Haunted House after drooling over them in Catalogs. Finally got to play Superman but am still a little confused with it... someday I'll master it. And thats when I realized I NEED a real Atari VCS. Cause just like any other gaming system I love emulation just doesn't quite cut it. However in the last 10 years I've never been able to find one in the wild.

I just recently traded away my Master Builder. I always HATED that game and once I found out it's value I knew I wouldn't have it for much longer. And as well I've just purchased a system from a member on here. Can't wait for it to arrive. My gaming room shelves are going to have to make room for the granddaddy to finally join in.

Edited by Torr

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I made all kinds of random stuff. There were dot eating maze games (including one called Burgers and Bones based on the

). I made a game or two based on a couple of things on the Price is Right game show. I made a Jolly Green Giant game that was loosely based on a Star Trek episode called The Apple where you had to collect peas, if I remember correctly, and feed the Jolly Green Giant or he would become angry (he was just a big head in the top right corner of the screen). I don't remember everything I made, but I do remember various bouncing ball games and a game that was similar to Solar Plexus. I also had fun changing games that I typed in from magazines.

 

The games you made actually sound really cool. Love the Jolly Green Giant idea! LOL. I would pay for it. :D

 

 

A few months ago, I made the game "Another Adventure" because I love the original Adventure game so much. I wanted to make the game similar to the original, but "tweaked-out" like I would have absolutely ADORED as a kid.

 

I'm so impressed with all the people who make games! Wish I could do that. Adventure is a great game. We never had it when I was a kid, so I've just recently discovered it.

 

One thing I remember fondly was the absolute thrill of going to the corner video store that rented games to check out the new games that showed up and to actually look at the boxes as opposed to looking at them in a magazine. We didn't own a ton of games, so it was nice to get that little snapshot of a game that came with a rental and it was so fun to try an figure out which game I'd like based on the blurb on the box and the box art.

 

Oh yeah, I remember lusting after all the games at the store too. :) I thought the Activision boxes were the coolest looking and that Imagic had the best labels.

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We were poor, too. But, my mom was able to stretch a dollar into ten somehow. Still, it was a pretty big deal when we got an Atari 2600.

 

One of her tricks was to shop all year long for Christmas and bought things when they were available at really good prices. She died in early December after being ill for a couple of months. Because of her shopping habits, we got Christmas presents from her that year. We got several 2600 cartridges (I don't remember now which ones (it was almost 30 years ago). So, Atari is associated with the last gift I ever received from my mom and that gift symbolized how well she took care of us despite having very few resources.

 

Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful lady. :)

 

 

Man, I can remember after the Atari 2600 and 7800 finally fell I would often see sealed games at Big Lots for next to nothing. As far as I remember they were generally commons, but still.

 

In 1993 I was in a Big Lots-type store and picked up several 2600 Jr systems for $9.99 each and a bunch of games for 99 cents each. There were a few semi-rare ones (the only one I remember is Roadrunner). I sent one of the junior systems to my mom (she still has it), kept one for myself (it eventually broke), and traded away the others.

 

My mom was opposed to the idea but, got me a pellet rifle, a GOOD one. For any one that had owned a Daisy power master 77 knows it's probably not for someone under at least 12. I was younger we shall leave it at that LOL.

 

You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

 

On a side note I bested my fear of just that in Apr. 09, and faced it head ON... Long story condensed my refrigerator stopped being just that, and turned itself in to a char broiler. I came down the hall from my room scared silly by it. But, thought of the last time this happened. I grabbed up my extinguisher, and bombarded it till it was out. I only lost some hair, my eyebrows LOL, and very lightly burned my hand yanking the hot cord out of the wall. But, I held together long enough to put it out.

 

You're very brave! And how cool that people got together to provide you with a new Atari--I'm sure they didn't expect you to keep it for your whole life, so don't feel guilty about selling it later. :) You definitely have more courage than me--I still have an aversion to spaghetti squash after the crop of it my mom planted grew out of control and took over the garden. We ate spaghetti squash every day for almost a whole YEAR. Yes, it keeps that long under the right conditions!! Being broke as we were, of course she wasn't going to waste all that food. Let's just say I run the other direction when I see it in the grocery store. :D It always throws me for a loop when I see it as an ingredient in food/gourmet magazines because I associate it so closely with being poor.

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I was about 13 when I went to a friend's house and played Combat. I loved it and had to have an Atari, so I asked my dad for one. He told me if I wanted to work for it he would help me. I remember my entire family making posts to sell. My dad cut down the trees and the rest of us limbed them and loaded them onto the truck. We eventually made $200 which went for an Atari and a copy of Space Invaders. Later on I got Asteroids, Missile Command, Adventure, Berzerk, Star Raiders, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Warlords, and Pac-Man. Good times. :)

 

Working for your Atari! I bet that made you even more appreciative of it.

 

The Atari 2600 was like a good friend to me...

 

First game: Combat (Christmas 1979)

later Street Racer and Chopper Command as the first third-party game

 

My other games until 1984:

Space Invaders, Missile Command, Circus Atari, Smurf, Pole Position, Joust, Moon Patrol, Obelix.

 

That's a pretty good stash. I love Missile Command and Circus Atari! What were your faves?

 

Some of the better gaming sessions is when we set up a tent in wood-paneled basement and had grandparents make us those frozen tv dinners in the aluminum trays. And we'd have the lights turn down, just right, and a tv inside the tent. Excess pillows and couch cushions positioned just so. Great sleepover fun.

 

Many a nights we could stay up late till like 1am. On occasion somebody would bring over a vic-20 or intellivision or some other popular system of the time and we would be gaming on TWO sets simultaneously.

 

That sounds really fun! I remember setting up tents outside in our yard too on summer nights and our mom bringing us snacks, LOL. Those old foil trays will always define the TV dinner experience for me--I can't imagine the ones now taste the same in paper. ;)

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I just looked up on the inflation calculator how much that $200 VCS from 1977 would cost today -- $711. Yow!

 

Thanks, Mom and Dad! You were way too good to me.

 

Wow! I just put in the cost of the Asteroids game I received and it's almost $100 in today's money. Eeek.

 

I remember it really bugged me that Frogger's cart didn't match the rest.

 

I used to arrange the games by brand because I thought they looked bad all mixed up, LOL.

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We were poor, too. But, my mom was able to stretch a dollar into ten somehow. Still, it was a pretty big deal when we got an Atari 2600.

 

One of her tricks was to shop all year long for Christmas and bought things when they were available at really good prices. She died in early December after being ill for a couple of months. Because of her shopping habits, we got Christmas presents from her that year. We got several 2600 cartridges (I don't remember now which ones (it was almost 30 years ago). So, Atari is associated with the last gift I ever received from my mom and that gift symbolized how well she took care of us despite having very few resources.

 

Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful lady. :)

 

 

Man, I can remember after the Atari 2600 and 7800 finally fell I would often see sealed games at Big Lots for next to nothing. As far as I remember they were generally commons, but still.

 

In 1993 I was in a Big Lots-type store and picked up several 2600 Jr systems for $9.99 each and a bunch of games for 99 cents each. There were a few semi-rare ones (the only one I remember is Roadrunner). I sent one of the junior systems to my mom (she still has it), kept one for myself (it eventually broke), and traded away the others.

 

My mom was opposed to the idea but, got me a pellet rifle, a GOOD one. For any one that had owned a Daisy power master 77 knows it's probably not for someone under at least 12. I was younger we shall leave it at that LOL.

 

You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

 

On a side note I bested my fear of just that in Apr. 09, and faced it head ON... Long story condensed my refrigerator stopped being just that, and turned itself in to a char broiler. I came down the hall from my room scared silly by it. But, thought of the last time this happened. I grabbed up my extinguisher, and bombarded it till it was out. I only lost some hair, my eyebrows LOL, and very lightly burned my hand yanking the hot cord out of the wall. But, I held together long enough to put it out.

 

You're very brave! And how cool that people got together to provide you with a new Atari--I'm sure they didn't expect you to keep it for your whole life, so don't feel guilty about selling it later. :) You definitely have more courage than me--I still have an aversion to spaghetti squash after the crop of it my mom planted grew out of control and took over the garden. We ate spaghetti squash every day for almost a whole YEAR. Yes, it keeps that long under the right conditions!! Being broke as we were, of course she wasn't going to waste all that food. Let's just say I run the other direction when I see it in the grocery store. :D It always throws me for a loop when I see it as an ingredient in food/gourmet magazines because I associate it so closely with being poor.

 

UGH!! yea, I see what you mean. I have never liked them though I was forced by mom once to try it.... No thanks.. There was always an over abundance of Egg plant in our garden BLEHHH.

 

That night I really did go about it the wrong way. The fire department Chief scolded me for doing what I did, thinking back it could have turned out badly. I didn't know at the time but you can seriously damage your lungs inhaling the extinguisher powder. I did have some discomfort but, I got over it in no time. Not only that they were here before I could hang up the phone with 911. But, I didn't call till I had fought it myself. I called to see if they would help me ventilate the house. I live not even a .10 of a mile from the fire station.

 

LOL!!! I see you got the whole pellet rifle thing!!! My brother actually pulled the strings that got me the gun. And, yes I did not find it till later, it was hidden in a corner LOL!!!! See a resemblance.. :D

 

{EDIT} Opps I for got to add yea I thought that was the coolest getting that Atari. And, greatly unexpected to boot. To some the Atari would have been an insult. To me, It was a treasure, and the lady thought the world of my response to receiving it. I didn't really feel guilty till I actually thought about it. It was the fact that I wanted to play it badly AFTER I had sold it that set in worse though. I had not been playing it much at the time.

 

Sadly the teacher that gave it to me passed away before I could have her as a teacher. But, I used to go frequently, and talk to her even before I made it to high school.

Edited by Yellow355F1
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It should be noted that R/C cars and model rockets and Atari VCS were all equal fun.

 

I couldn't agree more, as I was also heavily into R/C's flight, and ground. Ahh I still remember my trusty ole Tamiya Grasshopper. Man both are way addictive. I never really did get to do model rocketing. I always wanted to though.

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Oftentimes we'd play Atari waiting for the mid-morning rains to let up - then go do model rockets in the afternoon. Model rockets could be surprisingly cheap too. The best days was when gramma would come back with 1 or 2 NEW Atari games when we'd have planned for doing rockets. THEN we'd have to hem and haw over what we'd do. Sometimes that meant Atari got scheduled for the evening. Best of times!

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LOL!!! I see you got the whole pellet rifle thing!!! My brother actually pulled the strings that got me the gun. And, yes I did not find it till later, it was hidden in a corner LOL!!!! See a resemblance.. :D

 

:D One of my favorite movies.

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Same here watch it every year around the holidays it never gets old. Especially when you think about the years before watching it at the very same time.

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My cousins got an Atari VCS for Christmas 1981. I don't remember playing anything except for Combat -- our favorite game. The pack-in of pack-ins! They may not have had any other games. Their mom worked at Wal-Mart and probably got a 10% employee discount on it. She was the manager of the Wal-Mart snack bar where you'd get a Slurpee, a corn dog, and a licorice rope -- all for $1.25 or whatever. Now, Wal-Marts have Subways! :(

 

My family's first console was a ColecoVision in 1984 and a Mattel Aquarius a year later. Then we had an NES, Sega Master System, SNES, and a Genesis. The Atari 7800 I bought last year is my first Atari.

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Now, Wal-Marts have Subways! :(

 

In Canada, at least in Ontario where I live, Wal-Marts have McDonald's in them. It's a match made in heaven!

Where I live, a Walmart usually has a Subway or a McDonald's. You have to go to Target if you want an old-style depressing/creepy food court experience.

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Now, Wal-Marts have Subways! :(

 

In Canada, at least in Ontario where I live, Wal-Marts have McDonald's in them. It's a match made in heaven!

 

Cheap shit from china. Cheap trash food.. agreed! a match made in heaven!

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