This week's LA Daily is alive ... IT'S ALIVE!
"This is how we started playing video games at home when we were kids," I told them.
"Yeah, your uncle and I got this for Christmas in 1977," Anne said.
"Boy, you guys are so old," Nolan - who was 5 at the time - said.
"We are totally old," I said, not knowing that, ten years later, he and I would have to stop playing Frisbee in front of our house because I had "hurt my Old," when I tripped over the curb trying to catch up with one of his more powerful throws.
We looked at it together: Once-shiny silver switches jutted from the top of a sleek black body that was wrapped in faux woodgrain. Black rubber cords snaked around it, ending in the iconic joystick controllers that are woven tightly into the fabric of my youth. A cardboard box, its edges revealing the passage of time as clearly as its contents, sat on the floor beside it. Inside it, 20 game cartridges waited, keys to a time machine waited: Combat, Pitfall, Yars' Revenge, Space Invaders, Centipede, Missile Command, and Cosmic Ark among them.
I pulled Combat out of the box and gently pressed it into the appropriate slot, just like I had hundreds (if not thousands) of times between 1979 and 1985. I felt a surge of excitement well up inside me as I turned on the television, and slid a tiny black switch from TV to GAME.
I get a lot of positive feedback from my fellow Gen-Xers when I write posts about the stuff we did in our childhood, like playing Atari, so I thought I'd do something unique this week: I wrote two different columns about playing Atari, loosely related them to each other, and sent one to the LA Weekly, and the other to Suicide Girls for this month's Geek in Review.
I thought it was cool that, because of the way these columns are published and written, I could write two columns that stand on their own, but also work well together, and publish them about 24 hours apart. So if you liked this week's LA Daily, I bet you'll also enjoy this month's Geek in Review, which goes up tomorrow.