Attack (Part 1)
Moving into my thirties I have come to a crossroads
where I am vainly attempting to recapture my misspent
youth. That said, having been a gaming enthusiast
as long as I can remember, this is no surprise that
I have started my voyage of discovery with one of
my beloved memories. The Atari 2600 VCS.
Having sat on the fence for the past year and a half,
I decided to dive off into the turbulent unknown of
online auctions and newsgroups trying to obtain a
piece of my past. There are so many outlets that sell
video games online these days. Enter the dreaded Ebay.
A sanctuary of sorts for the electronic garage sailors,
I stumbled upon my beloved and bid until successful.
Having arranged to meet the seller - who was conveniently
close to my location -- I picked up my prize and headed
home filled with anxious expectation and some decidedly
No stranger to audio visual components I immediately
connected the machine to my television and was awash
Alas, there was nothing to smile about here.
My screen failed to display a thing. I attempted vainly
to recreate all of the troubleshooting scenarios from
my youth. The stack of carts behind the power adapter
pin, the compressed air into the cartridge slot ad
neaseum. Unfortunately none of my former trick proved
to be useful.
At this point I raced to Radio Shack for another TV/Game
switch with built in Coaxial connectors. This too
proved to be unnecessary. Aghast and extremely disappointed
I absorbed myself with diagnostics and technical specs
from the endless expanse of the internet. By all indications
I had all the necessary equipment to play the recently
obtained classics and even attempted some of the non-intrusive
modification methods and troubleshooting tips from
the various 2600 FAQ's available. Still halfway to
nowhere, I gave up, in frustration I emailed the seller
to confirm a few minor details. The bottom line is
that I whetted my gaming appetite grilled that steak
of retro goodness yet was unable to dine.
I lament my unnecessary build-up and my over enthusiastic
anticipation. I regret, my inflamed email to the seller.
I recant the ugly words spouted to my housemates when
they inquired why I couldn't get it to work. Alas
I was left saddened, dejected and most importantly
without a working console. Unable to console myself
I blamed eBay.
Joy of joys, the telephone rang with the seller on
the other end. Concerned by the unfortunate fracas,
he immediately tracked down another console and agreed
to drive to my home to replace the defective unit.
Having already resigned myself to ownership of this
DOAtari, I was overjoyed. We have yet to meet, and
there is a chance that I may be led down the garden
path, however I am rejuvenated. My drive to revisit
has already encountered and overcome its' first hurdle.
I await this future/past with infantile glee. You
see, I managed to get the unit work for thirty minutes
and played the most satisfying game of Asteroids ever
experienced making the whole sordid affair worthwhile.
The tactile response of the black stick and single
red button brought back that o-so-familiar cramp to
my now adult hands. If for the briefest of moments
I was ten again!
Classic Attack (Part 2)
a year has passed since I have re-entered the classic
console-collecting craze and I must sadly pronounce
that my collection is woefully inadequate. A self-proclaimed
gaming geek, admittedly I had high expectations and
passion for, what I had hoped would be my new hobby.
Unfortunately, life conspired to alter my plans and
I was forced to put the collection on the back burner.
Alas some of you may be shaking your heads, wondering
where this diatribe is headed and what it has to do
with the acquisition and maintenance of the classics.
Not much. However there has been an unexpected side
effect of my efforts, one that I had not anticipated
nor would have ever thought possible. Recently married,
my wife and I share some common interests in music,
movies and interactive entertainment, but little did
I know she had a secret, a previously undisclosed
passion; a passion that would have ever-lasting repercussions
on our relationship and our future together.
was an Atari 2600 addict!
I had issues with my first acquisition, as outlined
in Classic Attack part one, she was involved. Now
I thought that this was just a garden-variety concern
she portrayed for her troubled fiancée (at
the time). Nope. She was genuinely distraught that
the system did not work. When the seller, with the
added bonus of about thirty extra cartridges, eventually
replaced it, she was overjoyed. She was literally
beaming. You see she went digging through the box
and uncovered a half dozen of games that she was zealously
attacked in her misspent youth.
as I now consider the burgeoning collection ours,
have over sixty games for the system, four joysticks,
two extension cables, one old paddle joystick combination
controller and about ten sealed original games all
contained in a sturdy storage unit. Now more hers
than mine, she has her own special television that
has her Genesis, Playstation and an Atari 2600 Jr.
attached to it and more often than not she can be
found plunked in front of it playing Mousetrap, her
me the joy was finding, cleaning and cataloging the
gems and I admit that my collection is far from complete.
It is a much more hands on experience for her and
to me it makes the money and effort all the more worthwhile.
it stands I desire a mint Vectrex unit in its' original
display case with all the games in overlays in their
boxes. To me this is the mother load, the Mecca and
it is obtainable, but I must bide my time until I
can finance it. In the meantime I will continue to
watch my wife enjoy the fruits of my labors while
I scour eBay for the next acquisition.
our one-year wedding anniversary the wife is buying
me another, currently undisclosed, classic console
and I am working to obtain a mint Ms. Pac-man cocktail
live the classics! And long live women who love them!
be sure to visit Mr.