Keeping The Gloves On

Video Games and Me (Part 3)

Mr. Red


 

The Nintendo Family Computer

The Nintendo Family Computer (commonly referred to by most as the Famicom) was released by Nintendo in the early ’80s.  Its success in Asia prompted Nintendo to release it in the USA and Europe where it became known as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The first time I laid eyes on it, immediately, I knew that the Atari Video Computer System’s (AVCS) days were numbered.  Compared to the Atari home computer, the Nintendo Family Computer was smaller, making it easier to allocate space for it in the living room.

Most of my friends and people I knew who owned an AVCS typically didn’t make it a part of the living room.  They only took it out of its box when they wanted to play, and replaced it back in the box afterwards.  Well, maybe that’s the case where we live, a country where a majority of houses have small living rooms.  Or maybe, people were just not that into video games back then.  Whatever the case may be, the Famicom became an integral part of the living room; that is, for most people who can afford to own  one.

It was a good thing that one of my close friends owned one.  We would spend hours playing Super Mario Brothers, Galaga, Contra, Karateka, Donkey Kong, Arkanoid, Bomberman, Pac-man, Double Dragon, Super Mario Brothers, Battle City, Final Lap, Gradius, Star Wars and… did I say Super Mario Brothers?  Yep, we played the plumbers’ game a lot… A whole lot!

It was good that my friend did not mind the companionship, neither did his mother because he was an only child.  (My mother minded it, though, since I was the eldest of three children.)

Through our high school days (Yes, don’t snicker.  You read that right.) we would often spend the afternoons playing with the Famicom.  Well, unless we were playing chess or billiards, which was our alternative pastimes.

When we finally went to college and became busy with other things, I eventually stopped visiting my friend until the time both of our families had to move to different cities and we lost contact.  Lucky for me and my new set of friends, video gaming shops started to sprout everywhere, renting out TVs with their individual Famicoms for a set price per hour.  It’s like I was playing back in the ’70s’ tabletop video game arcades but with a whole lot of better games which you can change from time to time.

But things were bound to change with new video console developers entering the scene.  Things were going to become more competitive and Nintendo was going to lose a major piece of the video gaming industry to its competitors.  This only meant progress, which means this benefits everyone: video game console developers, video game creators, and most importantly, video game players like myself.

How to Beat Super Mario Bros.

 

Run the race.  Fight the good fight… while keeping the gloves on.

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April 21, 2011 Posted by | Games, Mr. Red, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Video games and me (Part 2)

Mr. Red


 

The Wonder of the Atari Video Computer System

In my previous post, I related my first encounter with video games via the tabletop coin-operated machines.  I found myself a regular patron of that arcade, that is, whenever I had money to spend.  Soon, I noticed that it was getting too costly to play and my video gaming expenses was eating up most of my school allowance.

Eventually, the lure of the arcade, with its bright, blinking sights and beeping sounds lost its attraction.  It was just too expensive.  Well, actually it was my parents’ frequent scolding that were primarily responsible for my sudden disappearance from the gaming arcade scene.

As a result, I would often daydream of one day owning one of those machines, and putting it right smack in the middle of our living room with the whole family gathered around that black, glowing tabletop arcade machine, shouting encouragements to whoever was playing as he struggled to break the current highest score.  Yes, it was a child’s dream; little did I know that in the future that would come true when video game consoles would actually start becoming a standard piece of appliance for the living room.

The first of these consoles I knew was the Atari Video Computer System – created, manufactured and sold by Atari, Inc.  Sadly, I was not able to own one because of financial constraints.  The first time I saw one, though, was when I visited a classmate at his place and he allowed me to play a video game called "Pong" with him for a couple of hours.  As I left his house, I was green with envy, to say the least… and yet I was happy to know that technological advancement was spurring the  development of video gaming systems for the home. 

My dream of owning my own tabletop arcade machine was now replaced by my dream of owning my very own Atari Video Computer System.  From the very start, I wished Atari, Inc. the best of luck so that they would be able to sell more Atari Video Computer Systems at a much more affordable price; but more advancements were soon on their way.  The Atari Video Computer System would soon give way to its better successor, the Nintendo Family Entertainment System.  More on that on the next post.

Atari Video Computer System

Run the race.  Fight the good fight… while keeping the gloves on.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Games, Mr. Red, Technology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment