Keeping The Gloves On

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

Video Games and Me (Part 1)

Mr. Red

Tabletop Arcade Games

I was seven years old when I first played an arcade game.  Some enterprising individual rented a small space at a new building somewhere near our neighborhood and installed a few arcade game machines.  I didn’t know what it was at first.  They looked like small black tables and I thought that the people who were sitting there were just having a cup of coffee and having a good conversation with a friend or two.  So I just ignored them and was content buying comic books.  One time, on my way home from school, the crowd there were rowdier than usual.  They were shouting and laughing and were evidently having a lot of fun.  I got curious.  I never crossed the street to see what the "coffee shop" sold or what the weird looking tables were before, therefore I never heard the sounds that came from the arcade machines. 

As I came closer, I saw those who were sitting at the tables were hunched down  with hands somewhere between their legs and jerking left and right, leaning forward and backward  at times.  A little more closer and then… that’s when I heard some sounds I never heard before.  There were beeps and pops and whatever and this just added to my curiosity.  At last I  came near the first table and my eyes grew wide at the site.

The tables were no strange coffee tables!  There were small colorful images moving there and the sounds and some music were coming from there.  I peered over one person’s shoulder and was mesmerized when I saw that the table top had a screen like a TV; only, it wasn’t a TV and there was no television show.  On closer inspection I saw what looked like an inverted T-shaped thing moving at the bottom of the screen shooting bullets at a lot of other oval shaped like things moving at the top of the screen.   Those things seemed to be moving downwards and the guy playing the game was doing his best to eliminate all the enemies.  I was hooked.  Later on I found out that the name of that arcade game was "Space Invaders" and that those weird tables were called arcade machines.  That was how I first came to know and love video games.

Till the next post…

Space Invaders in Play or Retro Tabletop Arcade Machine


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

April 19, 2011 Posted by | Games, Mr. Red | , , , , | Leave a comment