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Kids React (Poorly) to Atari 2600


Puck Monster
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I've seen this before and have a critical reaction to the methodology seeing how much children enjoy those simple phone games that look Atari inspired.

 

The games they chose are simply more adult oriented - Defender and Asteroids are awesome but hard games for kids to play!

 

I've done plenty of end user testing on my games and things haven't changed much from bitd - kids put down their tablets to play KC Monster Maze for hours, ditto for Warp Drive. But not so with Dodge It Panoramic Adventure or StarBlitz (Defender genre game) because those games are harder to play and more oriented torwards older children and adults.

 

I think if they had showed them Ms PAC-MAN they wouldn't have been able to write that preconceived article ;)

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This really is a pile of horse-shit.

 

I recently brought my light sixer VCS to a 9 yo kid's birthday party. We played it for 6 hours straight, playing everything under the sun.... something magical truly happened. Three of us played every game under the sun. and the kid said, "I love these games! They're straightforward and fun! not complicated."

 

http://imgur.com/a/iIfeC

 

-Thom

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I guess us grown up with record players, we would've reacted the same about a Edison Cylinder Phonograph, although we would have been more intelligent about it.

 

The ones who were more intelligent about it would have been left on the cutting room floor, just like with these.

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I never got that kids way of thinking old = bad. I was a kid in the N64 days and at a friends house we played N64 then in the spare room they had a NES and I thought it was awesome. I played Castlevania. Hell I was 12 in 2003 When I started researching Atari, Sega Genesis etc and thought it was all AMAZING. What depresses me is when they get teens to play games and they all get game over in the first level of Super Mario Bros or Green Hill in Sonic. Yes, that happened...Also a lot Couldn't beat Glass Joe in Punch Out. They're hopeless at games.

Edited by totallyterrificpants
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Give the kids Tank Pong! They will love it!

 

I've done just that! I'm an elementary teacher. I spend some time talking about pop culture of the 70's/80's and at the end, I'll bring in my Atari and show them some of the games. They laugh at first, but when I let them play Combat, they go nuts for it!

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I've done just that! I'm an elementary teacher. I spend some time talking about pop culture of the 70's/80's and at the end, I'll bring in my Atari and show them some of the games. They laugh at first, but when I let them play Combat, they go nuts for it!

 

Halo 2600 gets great reactions. When it arrived, I showed it off to my boys. They loved the packaging and intro screen, but kinda laughed it off. Then as I started progressing through it, they get into it. The three of us took turns until everyone beat it that first day. Now when any of their friends come over for a PS / Xbox game night, they always have play Halo 2600 first. :)

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This really is a pile of horse-shit.

 

I recently brought my light sixer VCS to a 9 yo kid's birthday party. We played it for 6 hours straight, playing everything under the sun.... something magical truly happened. Three of us played every game under the sun. and the kid said, "I love these games! They're straightforward and fun! not complicated."

 

http://imgur.com/a/iIfeC

 

-Thom

 

Great stuff! Love the pics! :)

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I can't believe they keep recycling the same material. Yeah, we get it, kids are being kids, especially when on camera. Shocker!

 

I read your post and for the most part I agree with it. Except this line:

 

" It’s not like our parents were cramming 40-year-old games down our throats when we had our Atari 2600s and the like, right?"

 

Many of our parents did want us to play games like "Clue", "Monopoly", "parcheesi" and many different card games. Sure, I get it those are not video games, but it was the closest things they had to them. I remember getting a couple toy pinball games durning that time because my Dad liked pinball. Was it his pinball?, No but in his day he didn't have home pinball. So in some manner yes, are parents did wants us to play games they had fond memories of.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My VCS is set up in the basement and the kids come down and play it frequently. They don't play many modern games so I'm not sure they are aware what they are missing graphically, but they never complain about any of that. Game play sometimes, if it's boring or too hard. :)

 

It really meets the needs of a lot of different age groups. My 8 year old boy likes the challenging arcade-style games. The 4 year old girl is a big fan of Freeway. When the 2 year old wants to play, I give her Air-Sea Battle. All she has to do is press the red button occasionally, and she has 2+ minutes straight where she can't die or obviously mess up. Everybody cheers when she hits a plane.

 

It's definitely family entertainment.

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My VCS is set up in the basement and the kids come down and play it frequently. They don't play many modern games so I'm not sure they are aware what they are missing graphically, but they never complain about any of that. Game play sometimes, if it's boring or too hard. :)

 

It really meets the needs of a lot of different age groups. My 8 year old boy likes the challenging arcade-style games. The 4 year old girl is a big fan of Freeway. When the 2 year old wants to play, I give her Air-Sea Battle. All she has to do is press the red button occasionally, and she has 2+ minutes straight where she can't die or obviously mess up. Everybody cheers when she hits a plane.

 

It's definitely family entertainment.

 

Kids will gravitate to what they have access to, no doubt. I think tablets and smartphones fill more than fill the need for the types of games that the Atari 2600 used to specialize in, i.e., highly accessible and playable in short bursts.

 

Look, I love the Atari 2600, but I'm not going to force that (or any of the other countless vintage technology I have) on my kids when they have access to stuff made in their generation, just like we did in our generation. Again, 40 year old technology is still 40 year old technology. A LOT has happened in that time, and in some ways, a lot of much needed improvements have happened in that time.

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Xmas 2005 I was visiting my brother. We played Warlords with my nephews and some of their friends.
post-3056-0-66056700-1477066088_thumb.jpg

My nephews had played Atari before, but their friends hadn't. They started laughing about the crappy graphics; however, they were soon after enthralled by the game play. This lead to me writing Medieval Mayhem. The youngest nephew (at the time, and behind the TV) would catch the fireball and refuse to let go, which is why I made sure to add "fireball flare-ups".

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I think tablets and smartphones fill more than fill the need for the types of games that the Atari 2600 used to specialize in, i.e., highly accessible and playable in short bursts.

 

Very true.

 

But we don't give our kids tablets or phones (I don't even have one). They play whatever games are on their LCD laptops and on their cameras. We've played games online (Thomas and My Little Pony), but that requires me to set it up on the computer when I'm not using it, and then I have to monitor that they don't scroll off the window or whatever.

 

Vintage, modern, I don't care, I just need something that works, and that's where the VCS really shines. I need short, fun games that don't take forever and that they get bored with quickly so they can then go run around outside.

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All in all the kids seemed to get into the games. The main frustration being the controls, but that's because they're preconditioned with smartphones and touchscreens.

 

It's important to remember that most of us here have played the real thing back in the day. These kids have not. So I'd say they did ok and didn't dismiss the VCS entirely. And consider they weren't given the box art, the fun of opening the VCS on a wintry christmas morning, the joy of make a trek to Venture or TurnStyle for new games and a special fast food treat.

 

That's all part of the experience! I, too, might fumble with an old SLR or reel-to-reel tape deck had I not had them back in the day. Same thing.

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I agree that it shouldn't get my blood pumping to see these any of these kids acting dumb...But what about The ADULTS who put them there ? Talk about retar...errr really dumb individuals! I expect more out of my Adults...

 

It was the adults who showed them games with no instructions or boxes, and most importantly didn't even give them a cursory attempt to explain the controls...I don't even think I was able to play E.T. as an adult without instructions! And how fun would Asteroids be if you didn't know what the controls are?

 

Those kids would Love Atari if I showed them what it was all about! And if you're going to show them Asteroids, how about you follow it up with Space Rocks to show the progress of modern games? Plus they should be shown the classics ...In my mind stuff like Pitfall, Yars' Revenge, Midnight Magic, Dark Cavern, Tron: Deadly Discs, Demon Attack...The list goes on and on...

 

The kids can be forgiven,

 

But those adults should be kicked in their 'member berries...

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When I got my first RF-style videogame I had to go over the instructions to find out how to hook it up and what the rules were. And same thing with the Apple II which had excellent documentation.

 

I believe it was because of that excellent documentation I still have an interest in the platform. And other early classic platforms. But if it would have been thrown in front of me blindly I would have lost interest.

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