The first Thing I remember with an electric/electronic influence was being on vacations
with the parents and seeing game rooms with pool tables and pinball machines. I think
Disney World was my first game room. The one in the Contemporary was huge.
the summer of 72 I fell in love at the swim club. Twice actually. One was a girl and the
other was a moving blip called Pong
on a TV screen. Over the next 2 or 3 years that blip had evolved into something with an
objective. Then Atari abandoned the blip and moved on to a new
vector scan technology. While this was going on a new craze began. Space invaders had
people talking. Then Asteroids had them lining up 3 deep with some arcades having 5
machines. Then a star was born. Pac Man and his girlfriend were soon followed by the rest of the family.
With the emphasis now
being on characters the first game with a soap opera plot came out. Can you guess what it was? Little carpenter dude
trying to rescue his girlfriend. Other family members followed that one also.
Then the first real 3d perspective game came out. Battlezone. I remember having
dreams of driving and driving but never reaching the volcano. Berserk introduced
speech as well as evil Otto the smiley. Then Atari made a beautiful comeback and amazed
arcade visitors. Pole position brought realistic 3d racing and Xevious started the vertical scrolling shooter revolution.
These two games were advertised on radio commercials. When is the last time an
arcade game had a commercial? My memory fails a little at this point because I was going to a
computer school that was
a half block away from a downtown arcade. I was there every day for my half hour lunch.
It was the first time when I got hooked on a game for the first time. That game
mixed the best of Disney movie magic and a plot. It was TRON.
And here I was learning all about CPU's and memory and bits and bytes and it was
just SO cool.
Tron vid goes here
A year or 2 later real
animation made it's way into the arcade. Laser disk games. Dragon's lair was the first arcade game I actually
beat. After three months of playing and watching I finally made it into the
lair. And got the kiss from Daphne. Q-Bert introduced feedback of a sort. Mr. Do brought back cute. They were coming
out like wildfire now. I will keep adding more to this as I remember.
Is my brain capable of remembering back 20+ years? :) It does help to
have MAME :)
Unlike collecting retro video games most people, short of winning a lottery
or scoring big IPO options, could not afford to collect arcade games. Although
they are out there. The best here near Philadelphia is
Quarter Arcade. So
instead of a "Must Have" list there will be a "Must Play" list :)