Blast from the Past: Signs you’re an Atari 2600 geek

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Atari 2600
An Atari 2600 four-switch “wood veneer” version, dating from 1980-1982. Shown with standard joystick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. You still have your very first, original Atari 2600.
  2. And play it often.
  3. You know how to make games for the Atari 2600.
  4. And do so.
  5. Without getting paid for it.
  6. You actually own a copy of Air Raid.
  7. You actually know what Air Raid is.
  8. You’ve paid more than $20 for an Atari cartridge on eBay.
  9. You’ve bought more than 10 Atari cartridges on eBay.
  10. You’ve sold more than 10 Atari cartridges on eBay.
  11. Without looking it up, you know the differences between an Atari 2600, an Atari 5200 and an Atari 7800.
  12. And you own all those systems.
  13. You remember when the Atari vs. Intellivision debate was as common as today’s Mac vs. PC debate.
  14. And you always came down on the side of the Atari.
  15. Even when the Intellivision had better graphics.
  16. You once bought a third-pary controller for an Atari 2600.
  17. But kept on using the original controllers because they worked so well.
  18. You own a copy of Custer’s Revenge. Not for titillating purposes, but because you must have a complete collection.
  19. You understand why Custer’s Revenge is titillating.
  20. You refuse to play Atari 2600 games on a computer.
  21. You refuse to play Atari 2600 games on a modern video gaming system.
  22. You refuse to play Atari 2600 games on anything but an Atari 2600.
  23. Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 still ticks you off.
  24. But you’d play it anyway.
  25. The Atari 400 was released in 1979
    The Atari 400 was released in 1979. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 still ticks you off.

  26. You hate the NES because it ended Atari’s supremacy.
  27. Without taking into account the video game crash of 1983.
  28. Which was soooooo unfair.
  29. You learned BASIC from the BASIC Atari cartridge.
  30. You know what BASIC is.
  31. You almost bought an Atari 400 or Atari 800 because of your 2600.
  32. You did buy an Atari 400 or 800 because of your 2600.
  33. You know what an Atari 400 and 800 are.
  34. And you still have one or both of them.
  35. And you still use one or both of them.
  36. To connect with the Internet.
  37. You blog about retro video games.
  38. Cotton swabs, alcohol and Q-Tips are on standby.
  39. When you hear the words “Darth Vader,” the first thing to pop into your head isn’t Star Wars.
  40. Just the fact you understood that reference should tell you something.
  41. Back in the day, you were a member of the Atari Club.
  42. And bragged about it.
  43. You still have copies of the Atari Age magazine sitting around your house.
  44. You have remote control joysticks for an Atari 2600.
  45. You completed Earthworld.
  46. And Fireworld.
  47. And you have a copy of Waterworld.
  48. You know whether or not the Crown of Life actually exists, and its location.
  49. You know what HSW stands for.
  50. But you hate seeing it because it ends your game.
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A former newspaper editor for two decades in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Ty now earns his lunch money as a fiction writer, mostly in the fantasy and horror genres. He is vice president of Rogue Blades Foundation, a non-profit focused upon publishing heroic literature. In his free time he enjoys tabletop and video gaming, long swording, target shooting, reading, and bourbon. Find City of Rogues and other books and e-books by Ty Johnston at Amazon.

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