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Video Games that Meant Something Special to YOU...


keithbk
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Over the years, I've played a LOT of video games, and I have come up with the games that meant the most to me in my life:

 

1) Adventure (Atari 2600)

2) Zork (C64)

3) Gold Box Dungeons and Dragons Games (Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, etc)

4) Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn with Expansion

5) Skyrim (PC, modded)

6) Wii Bowling (either standard or Sports Resort)

 

All are fantasy-based, except Wii Bowling, which literally brought a bowling alley into the house, with all the feel, sounds, and family fun.

 

What games have meant the most to you?

 

Honorable Mention: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (Intellivision)

Edited by keithbk
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Here are the giants:

 

2600

Adventure

Berzerk

Circus Atari

Defender

Ms Pac-Man

Phaser Patrol

Pitfall

River Raid

Robot Tank

Space Invaders

 

5200

Dreadnaught Factor

Gyruss

Moon Patrol

Qix

Space Dungeon

 

PC

Battlefield 1942

Castle Wolf 3D

Doom/Doom 2

Half-Life

Railroad Tycoon

Rollercoaster Tycoon

X-Wing/TIE Fighter

 

Arcade

Cheyenne

Choplifter

Mr Do

Ms Pac-Man

Spy Hunter

 

 

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Meant the most/played the most BITD. Other systems besides the 2600 under hidden contents...
 

2600:

 

Alien
Atlantis
Bermuda Triangle

Berzerk
Bowling

Carnival

Centipede

Combat
Cosmic Ark
Cosmic Creeps
Dark Cavern

Defender
Dig Dug

Donkey Kong
Dragonfire

E.T.
Fast Eddie
Golf
Gorf
Infiltrate
Journey Escape
Joust
Jungle Hunt

Kangaroo

Keystone Kapers

Mario Bros.

Midnight Magic
Ms. Pac-Man

Moon Patrol

Pengo

Q*bert
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Reactor

Space Chase
Star Wars Empire Strikes Back
Starmaster

Super Breakout
Super Challenge Baseball

Tutankham
Vanguard

 

 

C64: (so many, but here's some off the top of my head)


Choplifter
Diamond Mine
Ghostbusters
Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Gorf
Kickman
Loderunner
Microleague Baseball
Montezuma's Revenge
Oil's Well
Omega Race
Pinball Construction Set
Sammy Lightfoot
Spy Hunter
Summer, Winter and World Games
Tapper

 

Amiga: (again, so many but these come quickly to mind)

Arachnophobia
Battle Chess
Battle Squadron
Cannon Fodder
Conan
D/Generation
Defender of the Crown
Frontier: Elite II
James Pond 1-3
Jurassic Park
Lemmings
Lost Treasures of Infocom
Micro Machines
Pinball Fantasies
Populous
Prince of Persia
Qix
R-Type I and II
Rambo III
Rick Dangerous
Shadow of the Beast
Sinbad
Starflight
Sword of Sodan
The Three Stooges
Zool

Intellivision:

AD&D Cloudy Mountain
Beauty and the Beast
Bowling
Bump 'n Jump
Burgertime
Donkey Kong
Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack
Loco-motion
MLBPA Baseball
Night Stalker
Pinball
Sea Battle
Shark! Shark!
Snafu
Tron Deadly Discs
Utopia

Neo*Geo:

Baseball Stars 1 & 2
Burning Fight
Ghost Pilots
King of the Monsters 1 & 2
Last Resort
League Bowling
Mutation Nation

 

NES: (I know I'm forgetting a bunch, so may update if I think of them)

Blades of Steel
Dr. Mario
Final Fantasy
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Super Mario 1-3
Tetris

 

Super NES:


Actraiser
Castlevania IV
Chronotrigger
Contra III
Final Fantasy III
Hole In One Golf
Joe & Mac
Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball
NBA Jam
Rampart
Side Pocket
Space Megaforce
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Super Mario All Stars
Super Mario World
Super Off Road
Super Punchout
Super Smash TV
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
TMNT IV

TI-99/4A:

Adventure - Mystery Funhouse, Ghost Town, Strange Odyssey, Pyramid of Doom
Bigfoot
Blasto
Burgertime
Car Wars
Centipede
Congo Bongo
Donkey Kong
Hen Pecked
Moon Patrol
Munch Man
Munchmobile
Miner 2049'er
Popeye
Q*bert
Return to Pirates Isle
Slymoids
Star Trek
TI Invaders
Tombstone City
Tunnels of Doom

Turbo-Grafx/PC Engine:

Alien Crush
Blazing Lazers
Bonk 1 & 2
Devil's Crush
Galaga '90
Legendary Axe 1 & 2
Military Madness
Ninja Spirit
Power Golf
R-Type
Splatterhouse
Street Fighter II
Takin' It To The Hoop
World Class Baseball
Y's I and II
 

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Chetiry was the game that showed me that the 2600 had something to offer me this century. I simply never liked the platform before that and (even with Solaris and Stargate) always simply used my 7800 for its native games. So I'd certainly say that's been the most important game for me, as it encouraged me to pick up some absolutely stunning efforts, such as Mappy, Draconian, and of course, Galagon. Now I think many of the most exciting developments are coming out for the 2600!

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I have tried to write the list but struggle to settle as there is far too many games i want to list. Even when i look for those that meant the most, i end up going back to replace them for another. I will list two of each the systems i owned however there is by far many more.

  • Missile Command (2600): The reason why my parents bought me a 2600 i was obsessed playing the game at their friends house.
  • Defender (2600): Countless hours playing this in my own little world.
  • Street Rod 2 (DOS): I was also obsessed with cars as a lad and this game really let me immerse myself into it's virtual world.
  • Test Drive 2 (DOS): Same reasons as above.
  • Donkey Kong Country series (SNES): What's there to say? It speaks for itself as far as adventure platforming goes.
  • Mortal Kombat series 1-3 (SNES): Was mind blowing at the time and many great memories playing against my uncle.
  • Road Rash 3 (MD/GEN): What a fun game and nothing like it at the time.
  • NBA Jam (MD/GEN): Another fun game with fond memories playing against my uncle.

I will stop here otherwise the post will fill an entire page.

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Well as it's a VCS thread I'll mention some:

 

Combat -

  first because it was, it's simple and still fun
Video Olympics -

  for it's roots in gaming and still plays great today
Breakout/Super Breakout -

  the games I play to chill
Warlords -

  for multi player madness
RS Tennis/Super Football -

  sports action with great play
Enduro/Pole Position -

  for when I want to go for a drive
Space Invaders/Asteroids/Missile Command/Galaxian/centipede/Joust -

  which showed home ports don't have to be arcade perfect and can work
Ms Pacman -

  to show how Pacman should be done
Millipede/Pitfall 2 -

  how to to great sequels
Oystron -

  it showed the possibilities of homebrewing
Medieval Mayhem -

  how to make a great game even better
Space Cactus Canyon -

  shows there are original ideas, still
Space Rocks/Super Cobra/Galagon -

  hardware enhanced future

 

I've missed out a lot.  I guess where we are now, they all have importance and meaning.

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  • 7 months later...

Well, I'm gonna write in.

 

My first system was a 5200, and I literally had like 3 games.

 

Think they were Pac-man (ofc), Kangaroo, and Space Invaders.

 

Played those games soooooooooooooooooooo much.

 

To give you an idea: 

 

Pac-Man:  I played it so much, the rubber ripped right off of the joystick.  It was still functional (perhaps even more responsive?)

 

Kangaroo:  I used to clear all the 4 stages, and then the fun would begin.  I would park on the second platform (1st stage), and just try to dodge everything that came.  I enjoyed the strange sound effects when two apples were thrown at once.

 

These games were something special.  They were all I had. 

 

And oops, not in the right section.  Story of my life.

Edited by KAZ
pac-man
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First Memories of the 2600 were at a Great Uncles when I was 5 or 6 years old. That would have been 1986 or 1987.

 

 2600:

 

Video Olympics

 

Combat

 

Cosmic Ark

 

 

NES:

 

Super Mario Bros

 

Super Mario Bros 3

 

Duck Hunt

 

 

SNES:

 

Super Mario World

 

Street Fighter 2

 

 

Playstation:

 

Ridge Racer

 

Twisted Metal

 

Silent Hill

 

Final Fantasy 7

 

Lunar the Silver Star Story

 

 

N64:

 

Super Mario 64

 

Goldeneye

 

Turok 2

 

 

PC:

 

Baldurs Gate 2

 

Quake 3 Arena(still my favorite FPS)

 

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

 

Doom 2

 

Counterstrike(played this with 80 people on at a LAN party in Las Vegas back in 2000, it was amazing!)

 

World of Warcraft 2 (played in high school programming class instead of

Learning to program we had a LAN party everyday)

 

Starcraft

 

Warcraft 3

 

World of Warcraft(almost cost me my marriage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a great topic idea!

 

And while the list is long and looks like a favorites list, each one brings back the best of times. With the best of the best residing in the Apple II and Atari VCS lists. Especially the early 1st catalog Atari games. They were moody and downtempo and we always played them on quiet reflective nights. And then move up into the cozy bedroom for some Apple II.

 

Atari VCS

Space Invaders

Flag Capture

Basic Math

Combat

Superman

Bowling

Barnstorming

Asteroids

Chopper Command

Demon Attack

Video Chess

Dragster

Laser Blast

Cosmic Ark

Video Pinball

Phoenix

Battlezone

Slot Machine

Maze Craze

Slot Racers

Human Cannonball

Adventure

Home Run

Enduro

Dodge'Em

Defender

Canyon Bomber

Robot Tank

Breakout

Basic Programming

Night Driver

Star Ship

Space War

Fishing Derby

Grand Prix

Ice Hockey

Skiing

 

Apple II

A2-FS1

A2-FS2

Oo-Topos

NiteFlite

Star Blazer

Dig Dug

A.E.

Adventure in Time

Galaxy Gates

Apple Bowl

Strange Odyssey

Saturn Navigator

Threshold

Space Vikings

Bandits

Epoch

Hadron

Gorgon

Boulder Dash

Star Maze

Cavern Creatures

PrintShop

Astronomy Exposures

Warp Destroyer

Sea Dragon

Galaxy Gates

Space Adventure

Joe Holt Defender

Serpentine

Crossword Maker

Way Out

Eliminator

Phantoms Five

Repton

SnakeByte

Tranquility Base

Drelbs

Blazing Paddles

DOS 3.3

 

X86 PC

Doom

X-Plane

Tubular Worlds

Stellar 7

Nova 9

Comanche

Flight Simulator 4.0

NanoTank

Quake

Duke 3D

Doom Aliens

Raptor

Zone Raiders

Stunts

Descent

RealFlight RC flight simulator

G-Police

Doom UAC_DEAD

Vintage Emulators of all kinds

 

Intellivision

Snafu

Adventures of Tron

Space Battle

Triple Action

Sea Battle

Auto Racing

Utopia

Armor Battle

Astrosmash

 

Astrocade

280zzzzzap!

Galactic Invasion

 

Colecovision

Space Fury

Zaxxon

Gorf

Cosmic Avenger

Pepper II

Time Pilot

Looping

Donkey Kong

 

Atari 400/800

Defender

Star Raiders

Necromancer

Buried Bucks

Missile Command

Rescue on Fractalus

Centipede

Pole Position

K-Star Patrol

K-Razy Shootout

Shamus

 

C64

Gyruss

Frantic Freddie

Raid Over Bungeling Bay

 

Sony PS1

Ridge Racer Type 4

Xevious

 

TRS-80 Pocket Computer and TI-59

Lunar Lander (text version)

 

MAME/Arcade

Earth Friend Mission

Tempest

Star Jacker

Super Space Invaders '91

I, Robot

Krull

Blasteroids

Assault

Liberator

Time Pilot '84

Lunar Lander

1942

Discs of Tron (E)

S.T.U.N. Runner

Missile Command

Pole Position

Star Trek

Star Wars

Zaxxon

Tac-Scan

Crystal Castles

RoadBlasters

Amidar

Galaxian

 

END

Edited by Keatah
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On 1/24/2020 at 10:00 PM, davidcalgary29 said:

Chetiry was the game that showed me that the 2600 had something to offer me this century. I simply never liked the platform before that and (even with Solaris and Stargate) always simply used my 7800 for its native games. So I'd certainly say that's been the most important game for me, as it encouraged me to pick up some absolutely stunning efforts, such as Mappy, Draconian, and of course, Galagon. Now I think many of the most exciting developments are coming out for the 2600!

You should try Pacman 8k. I have been obsessed with it.

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For me, the games that meant the most to me were almost always 2+ players. 

 

Maze (Teleganes) / Slot Cars (2600): We probably played more Combat, but this game was endless fun blasting my brothers. Guided missiles with super slow cars or super fast cars where you could blast your opponent, lining them back into another shot always brings a smile to my face.

 

M.U.L.E.:(Atari 8-bit) One of the best multiplayer games of all time. Nothing more fun than starving your opponents out of food/energy when they went too mining heavy. We didn't even know about the Collusion mode until years later, and then the real backstabbing started.

 

Archon / Archon 2: The best multiplayer action strategy games. Spent hours playing these games against my brothers. 

 

Street Fighter 2 (Arcade) / SF2 Turbo (snes): This game caused a huge boost in arcade attendance.  It was always possible to find an opponent to play against.  During school lunch, I would be to a local arcade and play Guile and trap many players in the sonic boom throw/Low MK trap.

 

Mario Kart (SNES): The first and best kart racer. Spent endless summers playing this game and beating my friends at circuit and battle mode. Still play it to this day, and had to learn new strategies for Battle Mode when my friend was practicing between our yearly games. 

 

X-wing/ Tie Fighter: Amazing sound and graphics.  Best flight simulator for a long time. Had to beat all the a-wing and b-wing missions and the expanded tie-figher missions.

 

Doom: made my own wads, played 2 player over the phone lines for hours until the family forced me to get of the phone lines.

 

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Nothing will ever top Combat and Asteroids on the 2600.

 

Many , many hours of multiplayer entertaining with my brother and cousins. There were other great games too of course - Decathlon, Space War , Fishing Derby, Surround to name a few - but Combat and Asteroids bring back the most memories. They are my greats.

 

Other video games are included here for various reasons :

 

Doom 2 - sneaky gaming at lunchtimes in work.

Track & Field, Time Pilot, Atari Star Wars, Phoenix, Pole Position, Tempest, Shoot Away - great arcade experiences solo and with friends.

Quake 2 and Worms Armageddon - Office LAN play - back when such a thing was tolerated.

Tetris and Dr. Mario on SNES - another office tournament favourite....played using a projector.. Tetris game B - first to 25 lines.

Super Tennis, Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, Streetfighter 2 - on SNES - pre and post pub videogaming with mates in my 20s.

Arnold Palmer Golf, Desert strike on Megadrive (as above).

Mario Kart DD on Gamecube and MK Wii with my kids - hundreds of hours.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/25/2020 at 8:12 AM, TwentySixHundred said:

I have tried to write the list but struggle to settle as there is far too many games i want to list. Even when i look for those that meant the most, i end up going back to replace them for another. I will list two of each the systems i owned however there is by far many more.

  • Missile Command (2600): The reason why my parents bought me a 2600 i was obsessed playing the game at their friends house.
  • Defender (2600): Countless hours playing this in my own little world.
  • Street Rod 2 (DOS): I was also obsessed with cars as a lad and this game really let me immerse myself into it's virtual world.
  • Test Drive 2 (DOS): Same reasons as above.
  • Donkey Kong Country series (SNES): What's there to say? It speaks for itself as far as adventure platforming goes.
  • Mortal Kombat series 1-3 (SNES): Was mind blowing at the time and many great memories playing against my uncle.
  • Road Rash 3 (MD/GEN): What a fun game and nothing like it at the time.
  • NBA Jam (MD/GEN): Another fun game with fond memories playing against my uncle.

I will stop here otherwise the post will fill an entire page.

 

Considering your nice avatar picture, i'm surprised you did'nt mention Streets of Rage ?

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6 hours ago, Electric-Dreams said:

Considering your nice avatar picture, i'm surprised you did'nt mention Streets of Rage ?

How could i forget, although i know i limited myself to two games for the Gen/MD. Streets of Rage 2 was definitely a favorite of mine along with Lotus 2 R.E.C.S and the Strike series. Too many great games i had spent hours playing it's hard to shorten the list ?

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Okay, I'll play too..

 

My parents had a lot of big parties when I was a kid, everybody was always drinking beer and smoking because people were actually cool back then. As a kid I liked it because we could basically get away with anything during these shindigs. The older cooler teens and adults would hang upstairs while us younger kids would play in the basement.

 

There would usually be some random kids I'd never seen before (and didn't particularly like) frakking with my sweet A-team toys or Hogging my Fischer Price adventure set BUT with no supervision (or dreaded bedtime) and a giant bowl of M&Ms we could tear into all night...it was worth it!!

 

We would sneak (seemingly unlimited) room temperature soda from the porch and at some point the night would always turn into a "lord of the flies" style game of the floor is lava mixed with "dodgeball" using random stuffed animals I had outgrown. Any other night we could never pull it off...but party nights were different! It was a free for all!

 

Yeah, Id usually pass out completely satisfied on a bean bag chair in a sugar coma and my Dad would carry me to my room.  The late 70's and early 80's were truly a magical time ;)

 

...but one of these parties my Dad called me upstairs...this was...unusual...

 

I walked up the stairs and through the kitchen, there was a haze of smoke and (loud) chatter. Some random girl said "awwww, whats this little guy doing up here" and patted my head while she grabbed a beer from the fridge. She had a tight shirt and no bra and they pressed right into my face when she gave me a hug. I felt like I was definitely not supposed to be upstairs. Everyone was wearing bandanas, backwards hats, and even sleeveless jean jackets with patches! They were the coolest people I had ever seen!!

 

I heard my Dad yell for me again, he was in the living room. I walked in and immediately saw my cool older cousin in the crowd. He was wearing a Rolling Stones T shirt with sunglasses...INDOORS! He was like 9 years older than me so he was by default the COOLEST person I knew, he even had a season pass to the Go kart tracks! I was actually currently growing my hair long just like his. I said Hi but He just pointed at the TV...even without talking that dude was cool...I wanted to be that cool too...

 

"Give it to him" My Dad said...

 

I didn't even look at the TV because there was a LARGE man with a shaved head and army tattoos sitting cross legged in front of it. I knew this guy, he was my friends dad and he was freaking terrifying. We were all scared of him, he was a bad ass marine that didn't take any shit....he would yell at any of us kids if we got out of line. He stood up and signaled for me to take the video game controller, he even (half assed) smiled...that dude NEVER smiled...it didn't feel genuine. I really did not want to be upstairs anymore...I wanted to go back downstairs where I belonged. The wonderland of sugar and toys with no rules! This was too overwhelming, everyone was quiet now and looking at me. I walked forward, awkwardly, and took the controller...

 

When I looked at the screen I immediately recognized it. DONKEY KONG!! I had never played or even seen an Atari 2600 but I knew the arcade machine. Looking back at it I bet my Dad talked me up a bit as some kind of arcade whiz-kid, maybe that is why you could hear a pin drop when I started playing... 

 

I grabbed the controller and immediately walked right into a barrel and died...

 

Defeated, I handed the controller back to the marine, my Dad said "try again" while the Marine said "you have to jump the barrels" I obviously knew that but just nodded out of fear and tried again. My cousin started cheering me on, the girls sitting on the couch with him followed suit. I felt a sudden surge of confidence.

 

I was so nervous the actual gameplay is a blur, but in the end I had a decent game for a kid. People clapped, I handed the controller to some random girl and she asked ME how to play it. I felt pretty damn awesome. My cousin handed me a COLD soda from the upstairs fridge and even said he was going to take me to the arcade with his (much older and cooler) friends someday and he would PAY for all of it!! We could even go in his car! (he had a pretty rad lemans that everyone liked) WOW!!

 

For the next few minutes EVERYONE was talking about video games. The marine said he was getting an Intellivision because it was way better and he made sure everyone knew it meant "intelligent television" people were talking about Pacman, etc.. It was one of those moments you try to explain to younger people now that don't understand just how BIG these early games were back when they came out. They laugh at the simplicity and graphics but if you were there, when it happened, you knew everyone had video game fever!! Even if it was unfortunately a bit short lived for me...

 

I ended up going back downstairs that night as my time with the cool teens and adults had expired but not before I ran to my room and grabbed a Corvette mesh hat (that I put on backwards) and an awful pair of sunglasses that I could barely see out of. I still had fun down there but it felt different now...

 

My cousin never did take me to the arcade and my parents and their friends outgrew the video game phase just as quick as it started. In no time at all the box of atari stuff and a small black and white TV ended up in my room...forgotten by them but always cherished by me. The party with the atari as the centerpiece turned back into adults/teens upstairs parties with the kids downstairs playing the atari nobody cared about anymore. I will always remember when it was everything though, I was there man, I saw it! I lived it...

 

I sometimes wonder if I were just born a few years earlier, I could have had a little more time with the Atari when it was king of the mountain...but maybe then I too would have left it behind like everyone else did...then again maybe not. I still read comics, watch cartoons and play video games just like I did 30-40 years ago. Ive tried to stop, I  don't want to...maybe I'll just never grow up :) 

 

Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 will always be something special for me though...

 

The Atari 2600 will always be special to me...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2600 Freeway. My grandma played it and laughed hysterically whenever the chicken got hit and wiggled down the screen.

 

2600 Ms Pac-Man. My mom and I would compete against each other in several late night marathons. 

 

PS1 Tomb Raider. Playing alone late one night in my apartment, the PS1 sound pumped through my new receiver and getting pushed out my speakers with the 15" woofers. Exploring a quiet valley when the music suddenly got dramatic and a freaking T-Rex comes around the corner! Freaked me out.

 

PS1 Disruptor. Doom-like game with great storyline and visuals. One of Insomniac Games' first offerings that ultimately got lost in all the Doom clones released that year. Had great fun playing through it with a friend. 

 

PS1 Twisted Metal 2. A friend and myself would play this all the time. I bought matching acrylic frames with custom prints inserted into them to commemorate the day we finally defeated Darktooth and won the game. 

 

No Man's Sky. Is there a better game to help get you through a pandemic? 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Crazy Climber said:

Okay, I'll play too..

 

My parents had a lot of big parties when I was a kid, everybody was always drinking beer and smoking because people were actually cool back then. As a kid I liked it because we could basically get away with anything during these shindigs. The older cooler teens and adults would hang upstairs while us younger kids would play in the basement.

 

There would usually be some random kids I'd never seen before (and didn't particularly like) frakking with my sweet A-team toys or Hogging my Fischer Price adventure set BUT with no supervision (or dreaded bedtime) and a giant bowl of M&Ms we could tear into all night...it was worth it!!

 

We would sneak (seemingly unlimited) room temperature soda from the porch and at some point the night would always turn into a "lord of the flies" style game of the floor is lava mixed with "dodgeball" using random stuffed animals I had outgrown. Any other night we could never pull it off...but party nights were different! It was a free for all!

 

Yeah, Id usually pass out completely satisfied on a bean bag chair in a sugar coma and my Dad would carry me to my room.  The late 70's and early 80's were truly a magical time ;)

 

...but one of these parties my Dad called me upstairs...this was...unusual...

 

I walked up the stairs and through the kitchen, there was a haze of smoke and (loud) chatter. Some random girl said "awwww, whats this little guy doing up here" and patted my head while she grabbed a beer from the fridge. She had a tight shirt and no bra and they pressed right into my face when she gave me a hug. I felt like I was definitely not supposed to be upstairs. Everyone was wearing bandanas, backwards hats, and even sleeveless jean jackets with patches! They were the coolest people I had ever seen!!

 

I heard my Dad yell for me again, he was in the living room. I walked in and immediately saw my cool older cousin in the crowd. He was wearing a Rolling Stones T shirt with sunglasses...INDOORS! He was like 9 years older than me so he was by default the COOLEST person I knew, he even had a season pass to the Go kart tracks! I was actually currently growing my hair long just like his. I said Hi but He just pointed at the TV...even without talking that dude was cool...I wanted to be that cool too...

 

"Give it to him" My Dad said...

 

I didn't even look at the TV because there was a LARGE man with a shaved head and army tattoos sitting cross legged in front of it. I knew this guy, he was my friends dad and he was freaking terrifying. We were all scared of him, he was a bad ass marine that didn't take any shit....he would yell at any of us kids if we got out of line. He stood up and signaled for me to take the video game controller, he even (half assed) smiled...that dude NEVER smiled...it didn't feel genuine. I really did not want to be upstairs anymore...I wanted to go back downstairs where I belonged. The wonderland of sugar and toys with no rules! This was too overwhelming, everyone was quiet now and looking at me. I walked forward, awkwardly, and took the controller...

 

When I looked at the screen I immediately recognized it. DONKEY KONG!! I had never played or even seen an Atari 2600 but I knew the arcade machine. Looking back at it I bet my Dad talked me up a bit as some kind of arcade whiz-kid, maybe that is why you could hear a pin drop when I started playing... 

 

I grabbed the controller and immediately walked right into a barrel and died...

 

Defeated, I handed the controller back to the marine, my Dad said "try again" while the Marine said "you have to jump the barrels" I obviously knew that but just nodded out of fear and tried again. My cousin started cheering me on, the girls sitting on the couch with him followed suit. I felt a sudden surge of confidence.

 

I was so nervous the actual gameplay is a blur, but in the end I had a decent game for a kid. People clapped, I handed the controller to some random girl and she asked ME how to play it. I felt pretty damn awesome. My cousin handed me a COLD soda from the upstairs fridge and even said he was going to take me to the arcade with his (much older and cooler) friends someday and he would PAY for all of it!! We could even go in his car! (he had a pretty rad lemans that everyone liked) WOW!!

 

For the next few minutes EVERYONE was talking about video games. The marine said he was getting an Intellivision because it was way better and he made sure everyone knew it meant "intelligent television" people were talking about Pacman, etc.. It was one of those moments you try to explain to younger people now that don't understand just how BIG these early games were back when they came out. They laugh at the simplicity and graphics but if you were there, when it happened, you knew everyone had video game fever!! Even if it was unfortunately a bit short lived for me...

 

I ended up going back downstairs that night as my time with the cool teens and adults had expired but not before I ran to my room and grabbed a Corvette mesh hat (that I put on backwards) and an awful pair of sunglasses that I could barely see out of. I still had fun down there but it felt different now...

 

My cousin never did take me to the arcade and my parents and their friends outgrew the video game phase just as quick as it started. In no time at all the box of atari stuff and a small black and white TV ended up in my room...forgotten by them but always cherished by me. The party with the atari as the centerpiece turned back into adults/teens upstairs parties with the kids downstairs playing the atari nobody cared about anymore. I will always remember when it was everything though, I was there man, I saw it! I lived it...

 

I sometimes wonder if I were just born a few years earlier, I could have had a little more time with the Atari when it was king of the mountain...but maybe then I too would have left it behind like everyone else did...then again maybe not. I still read comics, watch cartoons and play video games just like I did 30-40 years ago. Ive tried to stop, I  don't want to...maybe I'll just never grow up :) 

 

Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 will always be something special for me though...

 

The Atari 2600 will always be special to me...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Story! Thank you for sharing. Hope you have watched Stranger Things, it would be nostalgic for you. Wish I could give you 10 likes.

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Okay, I'll play too..  

My parents had a lot of big parties when I was a kid, everybody was always drinking beer and smoking because people were actually cool back then. As a kid I liked it because we could basically get away with anything during these shindigs. The older cooler teens and adults would hang upstairs while us younger kids would play in the basement.

 

There would usually be some random kids I'd never seen before (and didn't particularly like) frakking with my sweet A-team toys or Hogging my Fischer Price adventure set BUT with no supervision (or dreaded bedtime) and a giant bowl of M&Ms we could tear into all night...it was worth it!!

 

We would sneak (seemingly unlimited) room temperature soda from the porch and at some point the night would always turn into a "lord of the flies" style game of the floor is lava mixed with "dodgeball" using random stuffed animals I had outgrown. Any other night we could never pull it off...but party nights were different! It was a free for all!

 

Yeah, Id usually pass out completely satisfied on a bean bag chair in a sugar coma and my Dad would carry me to my room.  The late 70's and early 80's were truly a magical time [emoji6]

 

...but one of these parties my Dad called me upstairs...this was...unusual...

 

I walked up the stairs and through the kitchen, there was a haze of smoke and (loud) chatter. Some random girl said "awwww, whats this little guy doing up here" and patted my head while she grabbed a beer from the fridge. She had a tight shirt and no bra and they pressed right into my face when she gave me a hug. I felt like I was definitely not supposed to be upstairs. Everyone was wearing bandanas, backwards hats, and even sleeveless jean jackets with patches! They were the coolest people I had ever seen!!

 

I heard my Dad yell for me again, he was in the living room. I walked in and immediately saw my cool older cousin in the crowd. He was wearing a Rolling Stones T shirt with sunglasses...INDOORS! He was like 9 years older than me so he was by default the COOLEST person I knew, he even had a season pass to the Go kart tracks! I was actually currently growing my hair long just like his. I said Hi but He just pointed at the TV...even without talking that dude was cool...I wanted to be that cool too...

 

"Give it to him" My Dad said...

 

I didn't even look at the TV because there was a LARGE man with a shaved head and army tattoos sitting cross legged in front of it. I knew this guy, he was my friends dad and he was freaking terrifying. We were all scared of him, he was a bad ass marine that didn't take any shit....he would yell at any of us kids if we got out of line. He stood up and signaled for me to take the video game controller, he even (half assed) smiled...that dude NEVER smiled...it didn't feel genuine. I really did not want to be upstairs anymore...I wanted to go back downstairs where I belonged. The wonderland of sugar and toys with no rules! This was too overwhelming, everyone was quiet now and looking at me. I walked forward, awkwardly, and took the controller...

 

When I looked at the screen I immediately recognized it. DONKEY KONG!! I had never played or even seen an Atari 2600 but I knew the arcade machine. Looking back at it I bet my Dad talked me up a bit as some kind of arcade whiz-kid, maybe that is why you could hear a pin drop when I started playing... 

 

I grabbed the controller and immediately walked right into a barrel and died...

 

Defeated, I handed the controller back to the marine, my Dad said "try again" while the Marine said "you have to jump the barrels" I obviously knew that but just nodded out of fear and tried again. My cousin started cheering me on, the girls sitting on the couch with him followed suit. I felt a sudden surge of confidence.

 

I was so nervous the actual gameplay is a blur, but in the end I had a decent game for a kid. People clapped, I handed the controller to some random girl and she asked ME how to play it. I felt pretty damn awesome. My cousin handed me a COLD soda from the upstairs fridge and even said he was going to take me to the arcade with his (much older and cooler) friends someday and he would PAY for all of it!! We could even go in his car! (he had a pretty rad lemans that everyone liked) WOW!!

 

For the next few minutes EVERYONE was talking about video games. The marine said he was getting an Intellivision because it was way better and he made sure everyone knew it meant "intelligent television" people were talking about Pacman, etc.. It was one of those moments you try to explain to younger people now that don't understand just how BIG these early games were back when they came out. They laugh at the simplicity and graphics but if you were there, when it happened, you knew everyone had video game fever!! Even if it was unfortunately a bit short lived for me...

 

I ended up going back downstairs that night as my time with the cool teens and adults had expired but not before I ran to my room and grabbed a Corvette mesh hat (that I put on backwards) and an awful pair of sunglasses that I could barely see out of. I still had fun down there but it felt different now...

 

My cousin never did take me to the arcade and my parents and their friends outgrew the video game phase just as quick as it started. In no time at all the box of atari stuff and a small black and white TV ended up in my room...forgotten by them but always cherished by me. The party with the atari as the centerpiece turned back into adults/teens upstairs parties with the kids downstairs playing the atari nobody cared about anymore. I will always remember when it was everything though, I was there man, I saw it! I lived it...

 

I sometimes wonder if I were just born a few years earlier, I could have had a little more time with the Atari when it was king of the mountain...but maybe then I too would have left it behind like everyone else did...then again maybe not. I still read comics, watch cartoons and play video games just like I did 30-40 years ago. Ive tried to stop, I  don't want to...maybe I'll just never grow up [emoji4] 

 

Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 will always be something special for me though...

 

The Atari 2600 will always be special to me...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also really enjoyed your story! I also have tried to stop watching cartoons, reading comics, and playing video games. I gave up on trying to stop and embraced my inner man child. I’ve tried to move on to big kid hobbies like cars, boats, ATVs, guns, and I just get bored.

 

I only have one memory of playing video games with my parents. My Dad would often eat breakfast at an old restaurant called Poppa Gars on industrial ave in downtown Las Vegas. They had a room dedicated to arcade machines down from the row of slot machines. The restaurant had many mounted heads of different rare animals from all over the world. The owner liked to hunt apparently.

 

My Dad took me into the Arcade room and sat me on a tall stool and showed me how to play Pacman. He let me play 3 or 4 quarters worth of games. It was the first and only time I’ve ever played a video game of any kind with either of my parents. It’s definitely a special memory of mine.

 

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On 9/9/2020 at 5:09 PM, Yurkie said:

Awesome Story! Thank you for sharing. Hope you have watched Stranger Things, it would be nostalgic for you. Wish I could give you 10 likes.

Thanks man! Yeah, I thought season one captured the era perfectly. Season 2 started laying it (80's) on a little thick but as still great!

On 9/9/2020 at 9:20 PM, adamchevy said:

 

My Dad took me into the Arcade room and sat me on a tall stool and showed me how to play Pacman. He let me play 3 or 4 quarters worth of games. It was the first and only time I’ve ever played a video game of any kind with either of my parents. It’s definitely a special memory of mine.

Nice! Similar experience for me but it was Turbo...and it was actually the first video game I ever played....which is why it will always be special to me...

 

*cue dramatic flashback story music.....one more....?

 

As a kid my Dad worked  hard labor construction jobs. Even back then I knew he hated it, now I can see (and having done similar work myself) at 6' 5" and 170lbs soaking wet he just didn't have the right body type for it. He would build sewers, roads, walls, bridges...injuries were common and after work he was always very tired. One of my earliest memories is my Dad taking me to see the Beatles  yellow submarine  movie at some crummy little movie theater and him struggling to stay awake. He was always present for everything I did, school, baseball, you name it, but he was dead tired. I asked him years later why he did that job, knowing he was college educated and could have done something different but he just said being fresh out of the military with kids you had to take what you could get. He has a decent pension now and has only a "few" bones replaced with titanium so I guess it all worked out, we always had everything we needed :)

 

Back in those days it wasn't uncommon at all to have a few drinks and cigarettes after work, that was my Dads thing. People nowadays might think it's bad parenting but I (still to this day) never saw him "Drunk" and don't judge him one bit for relaxing a little after a day of back breaking labor. As time went on he stopped smoking in the house (long before it was recommended) and then eventually stopped smoking and drinking all together, but for this era in time it was perfectly normal...

 

It was also around this time I remember getting invited to a friends birthday party, it was going to be at an arcade! My older cooler cousin talked about the arcade a lot, if HE thought it was cool, I thought it was cool!! I couldn't wait to go, I couldn't wait to tell my cousin! I knew he would think it was cool I was going, and then I'd be cool too just like him. I drew pictures of myself and my friends at the arcade, wrote the names down of any games I had ever heard of and even drew a Donkey Kong scene. I was very excited!

 

...but of course, when the day finally came, I had yet another Ear infection...

 

My Mom to this day still blames herself for letting me move my room to the basement. Somehow she thinks the cool damp basement caused all the ear infections I had in my youth. I highly doubt it but for whatever reason I had an unusually high amount of ear infections as a kid...and this one caused me to miss the birthday party at the arcade. I was a very calm, rational kid. You could turn on Doctor Who re-runs and not hear a peep from me for an entire evening...I believe this moment to be the only time I personally remember having a full fledged tantrum.

 

My Mom knew how excited I was, and how let down I ended up being when I couldn't go. I mean hell, I owned a damn Donkey Kong sweatshirt and I'd never even played it!! I remember this particular evening was a school night, which also meant a workday for my Dad. I had just started feeling better and I asked my Mom if SHE could maybe take me to the arcade someday. The response terrified me...

 

"Flash! Take him to the arcade!" she said to my Dad. I got nervous...I didn't mean right now!! I would have never asked to go right NOW and I definitely would not have asked my Dad! I knew better...ugh, the way she said it too, it was so bossy. My Dad was sitting in his chair in front of the TV with the Twins baseball game on, there was a freshly cracked can of Old Style and a filterless Camel burning in the ashtray. You did NOT ask my Dad to do something right now, it was HIS time...and you surely didn't TELL him to do something! C'mon Mom, even I know that!!! He gave ME the look, As a parent now I know that look, I've done it too. It's the "are you f'n kidding me?" look. I wanted you yell out "Dad! It wasn't me, it was her, SHE said it, not me!!" but instead I just ran out of the room....

 

 I'm not sure what took place while I was out of the room but a few minutes later me and my Dad were in his Black 72 Chevy Nova driving to the arcade, he didn't say a word on the way there, I just sat in the backseat staring at the floor. I still felt a little sick and wasn't even sure I wanted to go anymore....

 

When we got there it wasn't at all what I expected. There was a room with a cash register and some dumb little elephant and car rides like you would see in front of the grocery store for toddlers. There was a skill crane that looked interesting but again, far from what I thought it would be....far from "cool" My Dad walked back from the register and handed me one token. I started walking to the skill crane. I'd pretended to like stuff I'd outgrown in front of my grandparents before (they always bought me toys for a much younger age range) so this was nothing. Besides it looked, kind of fun I guess. We walked right past the "kids stuff" and I started to hear the sounds....there was another room...there was ANOTHER FRAKKING ROOM!!!

 

What I saw next blew me away, if there was a drug that could replicate the feeling I got when we walked into that room I would be hopelessly and forever addicted to it...I'll never ever forget it. It was dark, loud and smokey...THIS was the arcade my cousin was talking about and he was right, it was the coolest thing imaginable. Lots of cool teens that looked like my Cousin were walking around, hanging out, I was nervous but amazed at the same time...

 

The first machine I saw right when I walked through the door was Turbo, and it had a STEERING WHEEL!! I wanted to play it. I didn't really understand how to play and didn't do very well...but it was still the coolest thing I'd ever seen...even if I didn't really like it (if that makes sense). When we popped a token in my game pretty much ended before it even started lol. I was going to ask to play again but my Dad said "there's Donkey Kong" I sprinted over to it, that feeling of excitement was maybe only matched when I bought my first car many years later. Donkey Kong!! This is what I had been waiting for!!

 

My Dad showed me how to put the token in, how to start the game, even how to play (sort of) but after a few times he handed me the stack of tokens and said if I needed him for anything, he'd be in the room right over there. I found out years later the room "over there" was an "adult" smoking lounge with a Big screen TV that served beer...now I spent a LOT of time explaining my Dad at the beginning of this story so you can understand what a HUGE deal this was. Beer, smokes and TV after work was HIS thing, arcade games after school were quickly becoming MY thing, we had now found OUR thing and it was pure magic...

 

I wasn't afraid to ask my Dad to go to the arcade anymore, sometimes he would ask me FIRST right when he got home from work! My Mom loved how much time we were spending together and my Dad would even stick up for me when my Mom questioned us going so much..."he can do his homework when we get back" or "video games help hand eye coordination for sports" were a few lines I remember. We were a team and neither of us were going to ruin this secret! At least once a week we would hit the arcade, sometimes more.

 

Once we got in our groove the system was simple, my Dad would give me $3 to play games, once it was gone we would leave. In the beginning I squandered my tokens, making sure not to waste them, carefully selecting what game I would play but eventually I would hastily blow my meager $3 in no time....but I didn't want to leave. It's one of the main reasons I never really invited friends with, they always wanted to leave when we ran out of tokens...why the hell would you ever willingly leave this place??? Besides, when it was just me and my Dad he would let me sit in the front seat of the Nova. It was loud and cool, I felt like the coolest kid in the neighborhood sitting in the front seat of that car. He would usually squeak the tires when we pulled out of the alley. Whenever I played a racing game I always pretended it was my Dads jet black Nova (first car I ever bought was a Nova too!)

 

I learned a few tricks to extend my time. If a baseball game was on the big screen I could usually snake another buck or two out of him when I asked to leave because I was out of tokens. If I bugged the cooler older teens for tokens they would "usually" give me one sometimes more (probably just to go away lol) Defender always registered 2 credits for every one token you put in so it almost always had an extra credit on it even though I never really grasped that game (and I still suck at it) and you could smash a skeeball into the coin door of Pac man and get free credits! If all else failed I would just sit and watch people play. I could fill a book with everything that happened but this "quick" story is running a tad long...

 

Every time my Cousin came over I would tell him about all the games I played, I even played Dragons Lair BEFORE him and he wanted ME to tell him all about it, I felt really cool. He told me to always carry a comb in my pocket so I could "roast" people in Track and Field. I never actually did "roast" anyone and don't really remember playing T&F much but I carried a comb hanging out of my back pocket just like him because he was cool, maybe I would grow my hair out too...

 

Me and my Dad kept this up for what seemed like forever. I saw many games come and go but Turbo was always sitting there, first game you would see when you walked in....

 

As time went on the trips spaced further apart and then one day they just stopped. I'm sure the Nintendo system had a lot to do with it, grinding through Dragon Warrior and defeating Gannon in Zelda probably started to make eating dots and jumping barrels feel redundant. I remember years later, well into high school, out of the blue I asked my Dad if he wanted to go to the arcade...

 

The cool Chevy Nova was long gone so we piled in the (*cough, lame) chevy citation. Being a "cool teen" now I obviously sat up front but I felt far from cool, in fact whenever I saw girls from high school while in that car I made a point to not to make eye contact and just hope they didn't notice me. I don't think that car could have squeaked the tires if its life depended on it.

 

When we got there it was WAY different. My Dad didn't drink or smoke anymore but it wouldn't have mattered, the beer room was replaced with kids tickets games. Everything was so bright, young kids were running around everywhere....some teens were hanging out but they definitely weren't cool. I recognized a few games, but all the classics were nowhere to be seen and it was a LOT of kids games. The entire place was remodeled,  I didn't even recognize it. I went to go see if Turbo was still there, it wasn't...I didn't even really like Turbo but I would have really liked to see it again...

 

Just then I looked at my Dad, he was just standing by himself in the corner with his hands in his pockets. He looked "old" and awkward. The bandana and sleeveless "Shove it!" T shirt showing his tattoos was now replaced with a typical "Dad" attire and a growing bald spot... I felt old now too and perhaps a bit cheated. After all, wasn't it my turn to be the "cool teen" My turn to teach the kids how to smack a skeeball into Pac man while I hang out with the cute girls, my turn to know where they all went after the arcade and what they did? I guess I just kind of thought it would be the same as it used to be...

 

I left with a pocket full of unused tokens, something I NEVER would have done. My time at the arcade had expired....I never went back.

 

My mom on more than one occasion has expressed guilt for not giving me a better childhood and I tell her every time...don't you understand Mom? I've spent the better part of my adult life trying to recapture just a SLICE of what you gave me. I had the best childhood a kid could EVER have. I will always remember when the arcade was EVERYTHING...I was there man, I saw it...I LIVED IT!!! All because of YOU, my parents! Anything less or more would have thrown it off, it was perfect :) 

 

...because of that...Turbo will always be special to me (even if I never did get the hang of it haha)

 

 

 

 

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