Video Game Memories

Video Games

Today, we direct you to the always-insightful blog of actor Wil Wheaton, known for his roles in Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

He posted this thought-provoking gem recently, and we couldn’t help but notice that his question might be intriguing to our readers as well.

From his blog:

There are all these video games that remind me of the happiness of my childhood: Journey, Riddle of the Sphinx, and Dodge-Em on Atari 2600. The robot gyroscope game, Excitebike, and Super Mario Brothers (the turtle trick!) on NES are just a few. Writing about those, I can feel the orange shag carpet at the house in Sunland, the blue berber carpet in La Crescenta, and I can see the little television in my friend’s bedroom where we played RC Pro-Am until we had “NES Thumb.”

Do you associate certain games with certain arcades or places?

You can read the rest of his blog post at the link above. Meanwhile, this author must answer Wil’s question with a resounding “yes!”

When I think of Atari’s Missile Command, I can’t help but be transported back to a little mall arcade in Smithtown, New York. I couldn’t even begin to estimate how many quarters my dad and I pumped into this addictive game, and the memories of this special father/son time are something I will forever hold dear.

Pac-Man, on the other hand, brings me right back to the local 7-Eleven of my youth. I remember one particular summer, standing in this air-conditioned oasis just about every day with my friends. Slurpees in hand, we took turns competing, and insulted each other, and laughing a lot. Those were good times.

My first home gaming system, the Coleco Telstar Arcade (pictured above), was a much-anticipated Christmas present. Not only did it allow you to play Pong and pinball, but the triangular system also had a steering wheel and gun! Indeed, it was like having an arcade in my bedroom, no quarters required, and my friends and I spent countless hours holed up there, depriving ourselves of sunlight and sustenance, and arguing over who got to drive next. Today, when I think of my childhood bedroom, two things come to mind – the surprisingly good mural of the USS Enterprise orbiting a planet (that my mom painted one day as a surprise to me) and that Telstar Arcade that I practically wore out.

So, what video games do you associate with specific places? Travel back in time, then share those memories with us at Retroland. And thank you, Mr. Wheaton, for posing a question that conjured up such wonderful memories of childhood.

6 Responses to “Video Game Memories”

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  1. HardyGirl66 says:

    I have already posted a memory about the Atari 2600 in my Memories section of RL. But the abridged version is when I lived w/ my dad, there really wasn’t much money, and all us kids (his and his girlfriend’s) convinced him to buy us an Atari 2600 plus 8 games we found in the PennySaver for $150. We had competitions, bets, and traded games w/ the neighborhood kids. I now have quite a large video game library; 180 Atari 2600 games, and 40 Intellivision 2 games. Yep, if you did the math, that’s 220 games. Take that, Wii!

  2. tombeiter says:

    My first home video system was the Atari 2600 and I was fairly late to the game. I first played it at my cousin’s grandma’s house over Christmas vacation (they always had everything first!). It was at least 2 years later before I got my own. I still don’t know how my mom talked my dad into buying it. At $250 for the system plus 2 games, I’m sure it was more than pocket change for our family’s budget. We had only the 25-inch color console tv in the living room, so the rest of my family gave up hours of television while I played game after game of Combat, Pac-man (both of which came with my system), Berzerk, and Asteroids (the other 2 games I, or rather my parents, bought). Later, using my allowance, I slowly added titles such as Dragonslayer, Cosmic Arc, Riddle of the Sphinx, Demon Attack, Atlantis (I always loved those Imagic games), Journey (which I bought strictly to make my friends think I was cool!), and Raiders of the Lost Ark. When Pitfall came along, I was blown away with the scrolling playing field and those *advanced* graphics! When I think of Atari, I think of that summer of 1982 sitting in the cool air conditioning on a hot summer day, whiling away the hours, not a care or responsibility in the world.

  3. Sith Penguin says:

    pretty much any nes or sega genesis game i played as a kid will always remind me of my dad’s old apartment. both systems were hooked up to the living room tv for almost a decade before they finally wore out. a lot of the time, it was usually super mario bros, double dragon, and sonic the hedgehog 2.

    although a portable game, pokemon blue had a significant impact on my childhood, and it will always remind me of a local amusement park called funtastics. i had just bought my copy of the game and had made it as far as the nugget bridge as i arrived at the park for my friend’s birthday (whom i had also bought a copy of the game for as a present).

  4. D-Rock says:

    When I think of the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man, I’m always transported back to the den at my friend Billy’s house. He was the first kid (and perhaps the only one) to buy the much-anticipated home version of this arcade classic. He lived in one of those split-level homes, with the den on the bottom floor, a kitchen and living room in the middle level, and the bedrooms on the top floor, so we could always whoop it up playing games there without disturbing the rest of the family.

    But alas, there wasn’t much whooping it up that day, as we soon discovered that Pac-Man just wasn’t all we expected it to be. It turned out to be quite an underwhelming experience. To this day, the only things I enjoy about that game were it’s silly sound effects.

  5. Lynn says:

    My first video game experience was the Pac-Man machine in my doctor’s waiting room. First console was NES and until I discovered Game Genie the only game I could play was Duck Hunt.

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