I remember the first time I ever played a video game. It was around 1975 and a friend got the home version of Atari Pong as a gift. We hooked it up to a 10 inch black and white television and played that game for hours. It was so simple; a two knobs, one on each side of the console that controlled the on screen "paddles" which were nothing more than short white lines. A small white dot bounced between the paddles at ever increasing speeds and the idea was to not let the white dot get passed your paddle. On Screen Ping Pong! Atari Pong! It was great. The video game craze exploded from there and soon I was playing table top video games at the local Pizza Hut, and more sophisticated stan-up games at the new place called The Arcade. I got really good at Asteroids, Centipede, Frogger, and Pac man. In the very early 80's the Appleby household got an Atari home system that took individual game cartridges. All of those amazing arcades games could now be played on my television at home. I even had an Atari game based on a rock album ; Journey's "Escape". Years later we moved up to the first PlayStation and the very first Madden NFL game. Aside from a few other game discs, that's about where it ended for me. Obviously game systems have advanced and considering some of the mature content in the newer games, the innocence is lost.
Still it's tought to hear the news today that Atari, one of the video game industry’s pioneers, has filed for bankruptcy. The company has faced financial problems for decades.
Fortunately for me I have something to keep those old Atari video game memories with me. Last Father's day My daughter and son-in-law got me a retro Atari game system with dozens of games built right in. Maybe I'll break that out tonight in honor of the once mighty Atari company.