tanuki_green: (Tanuki Fall)
Somewhere around the time I was starting junior high school, my mother had a career change (she went from being an air traffic controller to being a stained glass artist) and we moved to an apartment complex in a suburb of Seattle. This meant a new school, new kids to make friends with and a new bus stop.

Conveniently, the new bus stop was right next to our local 7-11 convenience store. This was also right around the time that you could start finding arcade games in those convenience stores and this one was no exception. It was also my introduction to Mario Bros.

It seemed like a simple enough concept to me - flip over the turtles, crabs and fighterflies and then kick them off all while collecting coins and avoiding fireballs. And while it looked pretty straight forward, it was a bit of a trick getting past the crab levels the first few times. Then was the trick of learning the timing of the fighterflies, and then dealing with the icy ground.

After a brief learning curve, the goal of the game changed a bit. No longer was I trying to see how long I could go on one quarter - I was now in competition to see how long I could go before the school bus came. I wasn't alone in playing, which was a good thing. We'd take turns playing, watching and being the lookout for the bus - which was a very important job.

There was a certain thrill in playing and playing - the further you got, the more anxious you became, knowing that the bus could show up at any minute. And then, finally came they cry, "BUS!" And whether you were finished or not came the mad scramble to get your book bag and get to the stop before the bus left. And if you missed the bus, whether it was because you were too slow or because the lookout failed at his job, you'd have to walk to school and hope it wasn't raining. And being in the Seattle area, the odds were against you.

But it was always worth it.

Cross Posted to GamerDNA
tanuki_green: (Default)
Somewhere around the time I was starting junior high school, my mother had a career change (she went from being an air traffic controller to being a stained glass artist) and we moved to an apartment complex in a suburb of Seattle. This meant a new school, new kids to make friends with and a new bus stop.

Conveniently, the new bus stop was right next to our local 7-11 convenience store. This was also right around the time that you could start finding arcade games in those convenience stores and this one was no exception. It was also my introduction to Mario Bros.

It seemed like a simple enough concept to me - flip over the turtles, crabs and fighterflies and then kick them off all while collecting coins and avoiding fireballs. And while it looked pretty straight forward, it was a bit of a trick getting past the crab levels the first few times. Then was the trick of learning the timing of the fighterflies, and then dealing with the icy ground.

After a brief learning curve, the goal of the game changed a bit. No longer was I trying to see how long I could go on one quarter - I was now in competition to see how long I could go before the school bus came. I wasn't alone in playing, which was a good thing. We'd take turns playing, watching and being the lookout for the bus - which was a very important job.

There was a certain thrill in playing and playing - the further you got, the more anxious you became, knowing that the bus could show up at any minute. And then, finally came they cry, "BUS!" And whether you were finished or not came the mad scramble to get your book bag and get to the stop before the bus left. And if you missed the bus, whether it was because you were too slow or because the lookout failed at his job, you'd have to walk to school and hope it wasn't raining. And being in the Seattle area, the odds were against you.

But it was always worth it.

Cross Posted to GamerDNA
tanuki_green: (Default)
I was 10 years old. My mother had been married for her fourth time for a couple of years, she was working as an air traffic controller and she'd bought a house and I was entertaining myself at home by reading or playing with my Merlin game.

Then one day, mom brought home a device of wonder and awe, transforming the television forever, the Atari 2600. We took it out of the box, hooked the antenna wire to the transceiver and that to the television. I grabbed the remote control, pointed it at the television, pressed the channel down button and heard the satisfying *clunk* *clunk* *clunk* as it changed to channel 3 and saw snow on the screen.

We took the cartridge out of the box. It had a label on it saying "Combat". We plugged it in and turned on the power. Suddenly the screen lit up with the most amazing images we'd ever seen. There were tanks! And we could move them around and shoot at each other! It was amazing!

As the days and months went along, we got more games and would get together in the living room, grab the cartridge out of the box, put it in the machine and start playing. For the most part, we could figure out the games pretty quickly and have a lot of fun. That was until Sky Diver.

As per usual, we gathered in the living room, pulled the cartridge out of the box, put it in the slot and powered it on. We were treated with airplanes flying across the top of the screen and pads on the ground. It seemed pretty simple - jump out of the plane and parachute on to the pad.

It was not as simple as it sounded though. We managed the jumping out of the plane part pretty darn good. What we accomplished after that was a full hour of watching our little men squash into the ground with a great little 8-bit sound effect that made us hysterical with laughter. It got to a point of being unable to breathe. It was a great time. Then we got the instructions out and learned how to open the parachutes. And the competition began in earnest.

Cross Posted to GamerDNA
tanuki_green: (geek inside)
I was 10 years old. My mother had been married for her fourth time for a couple of years, she was working as an air traffic controller and she'd bought a house and I was entertaining myself at home by reading or playing with my Merlin game.

Then one day, mom brought home a device of wonder and awe, transforming the television forever, the Atari 2600. We took it out of the box, hooked the antenna wire to the transceiver and that to the television. I grabbed the remote control, pointed it at the television, pressed the channel down button and heard the satisfying *clunk* *clunk* *clunk* as it changed to channel 3 and saw snow on the screen.

We took the cartridge out of the box. It had a label on it saying "Combat". We plugged it in and turned on the power. Suddenly the screen lit up with the most amazing images we'd ever seen. There were tanks! And we could move them around and shoot at each other! It was amazing!

As the days and months went along, we got more games and would get together in the living room, grab the cartridge out of the box, put it in the machine and start playing. For the most part, we could figure out the games pretty quickly and have a lot of fun. That was until Sky Diver.

As per usual, we gathered in the living room, pulled the cartridge out of the box, put it in the slot and powered it on. We were treated with airplanes flying across the top of the screen and pads on the ground. It seemed pretty simple - jump out of the plane and parachute on to the pad.

It was not as simple as it sounded though. We managed the jumping out of the plane part pretty darn good. What we accomplished after that was a full hour of watching our little men squash into the ground with a great little 8-bit sound effect that made us hysterical with laughter. It got to a point of being unable to breathe. It was a great time. Then we got the instructions out and learned how to open the parachutes. And the competition began in earnest.

Cross Posted to GamerDNA
tanuki_green: (Default)
While I'm waiting to get home and start processing photos from Faerieworlds, I've started blogging about video games (and specifically my memories about them) over at GamerDNA. I've only just started, but there's something that really resonates with me about doing this.

Check out my latest post. There will be more.
tanuki_green: (Default)
While I'm waiting to get home and start processing photos from Faerieworlds, I've started blogging about video games (and specifically my memories about them) over at GamerDNA. I've only just started, but there's something that really resonates with me about doing this.

Check out my latest post. There will be more.

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