Tuesday, August 25, 2009

80's Corner

The absolute explosion in the video game market today reminds me of a similar explosion in the early 1980's. Popular consoles of the time included the Atari 2600 (Yes Heff, I do realize it was introduced in the 1970's), the Intellivision, and Colecovision. I was partial to the Atari because ... well, I had an Atari. But, with the increases in video game technology, the Atari just wasn't keeping up, and I needed to make a decision on which new console my parents would purchase for me for Christmas ... well, it wasn't quite like that.

I had to sell them on the idea of getting me a new concept. I began reading up on the Commodore 64 ... essentially a personal computer ... a personal computer that had major gaming possibilities. I sold my parents on my need for a personal computer, and somehow, they agreed with me.

So, did I use the Commodore as a personal computer? Nope, not really. Sure, I had some programs that allowed me to use it as a word processor, but that's really as far as I got into "that" side of it.

No, I used and abused the Commodore 64 as a gaming system. First, I purchased cartridges .... then, I got a tape player and purchased tapes. Then, I got the disk drive that used those annoyingly big and floppy 5 1/4 inch disks. I purchased a number of games initially, but then discovered a whole new "Commodore 64 culture," in which people "shared" pirate disks and games ... I remember trading these pirate disks and disks of games with numerous people in high school ... it was kind of like a social site like Napster, but without the "online" part of it.

I loved it ... I loved the Commodore 64. Sure, it took like 10 minutes to load games, but I didn't mind (much). I would just make a sandwich or something while the game was loading. Man, I miss the Commodore 64!


El Padrino said...

never had that

Mrs R said...

Oh man. My family had one of those. It sat in the back of the closet for a long time before we finally parted with it. I liked the game were the guy went up the ladders collecting coin like things and the one with the monkey oh and the the one were you caught balloons on your head.

Ink and Stone said...

I remember my first real computer was an old Texas Instruments system like this one:
Excellent little system (don't remember having the dot matrix though). The big box behind the keyboard is the 5 1/4 floppy drive and system combo if I remember correctly.

It had some fun games too (Tunnels of Doom was my favorite). http://bellsouthpwp.net/e/d/edburns00/classic-gaming/tunnels/

Heff said...

We were very fortunate as children and had virtually every platform available.

I'm with "Ink and Stone". I LOVED the TI994a system, even though you had to expand the HELL out of it before it had any real power. Using "Extended Basic" (an expansion cartridge, you were even able to program your OWN lame video games !

"Parsec" was my favorite cartridge driven game for that computer.

Jeff said...

I'm so busy, I don't even have time to -- wait, the game takes 10 minutes to load!

No wonder you loved it.

-B- said...

LOVED my Commodore 64!!!
Trading the games at school was always a blast - and free!!

Lookup some of your old favorites: