Tuesday, 7 April 2015

It's All About the Plumber and the 2600

Mike Raven did such a wonderful job dragging my blog kicking and screaming into the 21st century that I have decided to pay back the favor by dragging his blog back into the 20th century for a day. Oh I suppose I should introduce myself, my name is Jeremy Fink, but most people know me as Jeremy Crow. You can find all of my ramblings at TheWhacko.com where I like to think of myself as The Head Whacko in the Whacky World of Whacko blogs. Aside from that let me take a stab at dragging you back a little bit in the technology world.

I remember the first video game console that I got back in 1982 called an Atari 2600. Man that was the coolest piece of hardware any 12 year old could own, and I was the first kid on my street to have one, complete with the fresh off the market copy of Space Invaders. Took me a few weeks to finally get to the point where I could play infinitely. The trick was to drive along the bottom and just wipe out the first two of every row the whole way across. When you finally got bored with it you turn the game off.

I had so many Atari cartridges that by today's standards that whole system was probably worth into the tens of thousands, but somewhere down the road the system just got old. The joysticks didn't work to well anymore. Come to think of it I had pulled the rubber plunger off of both of them and cast them aside. Don't think I ever owned a game that used the paddle controllers, but it's been a while. Activision finally came out with a game called pitfall, and the Atari was almost new again, but I was already making my own games with my Commodore 64, and the time of games was ending.

That was until the Nintendo NES came along, and I lost a lot of sleep because of Super Mario Brothers, and then Super Mario 2 and 3. These were the college years when I should have been doing something more, but I loved that little Nintendo, then the Super Nintendo, then the Nintendo 64. I hate to admit that I never went much further than these, even though I did have a Playstation 2 and an X-Box but only because I had to. Golf and bowling games were about my speed by this time. I would watch my kids play the games that they would play and just be fascinated with how their hand eye coordination was far superior to mine, even when I was their age. Even as my son goes ripping through Assassins Creed Whatever Number on the X-Box 360 today, I just get confused.

Now as I do my writing I miss the days a little bit when the corner store had the game you see up there, Donkey Kong. I am pretty good with the graphics for an old man anyway. I could actually get a half hour out of a quarter, which meant the money I was supposed to be buying school lunch with would get me an hour, maybe a little more chasing barrels with a hammer. At one time I was trying to stop that mean old Donkey Kong from getting away with whatshername. Then Donkey Kong's kid became the good guy and I had some fun with that for a while. Mario the bad, then Mario and his brother started running around together which I had told you about earlier. I really have no video game loyalty yanno? Then the next thing you knew Donkey Kong was running through the jungle gathering bananas and I was all over that game too.

I asked my wife for one of those “old timey” Sega consoles with every single Sega Genesis game on it for under 40$ a couple of Christmas's ago. I thought of how great it would be to play Altered Beast and Gauntlet and all those great games I used to run to the arcade to play. I thought of the hours of entertainment I was going to get out of that thing. She thought it was stupid but went and got it for me anyway. Boy was I going to show her, as I started that unit up and got lost in it forever. She waited with breathless anticipation as I plowed through about a third of the games, only to realize that they suck now, and they probably sucked then, but when you are young and dumb you do things that are young and dumb. I don't know what brand of dumb I am now, but I miss that old Atari 2600.


  1. I used to play Super Mario on Nintendo (oops my age revealed) and Street Fighter on our PC. It's amazing how much time I've wasted back then when I think about it now. Amazing and annoying as I could have done lots of things.

    Now when I see new games or gadgets for playing it doesn't interest me anymore.Maybe I turned into a different kind of dumb now too. :P

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