Atari 2600 – Better when you remember it.


How many of you had an Atari 2600 gaming console back in the day?   Yeah.  You’re probably too young for that.  Games were always around for you.

I grew up in the early days of video gaming.  It was a special time having been a tiny kid playing with barely-electronic devices.  Still having to play with rocks and sticks while the computer was in its infancy.

One of the first and most popular gaming systems was the Atari 2600.   It had a cartridge slot and two joysticks.  It connected to our old tube TV through the antenna screws using a manual switch to select antenna or game.

My friends and I spent many hours of our middle school years playing Missile Command, Space Invaders, Tank and Pac Man.  It was an amazing time of low res gaming.

I recently bought an Atari 2600 flashback which is a tiny 2600 console with two IR joysticks and a bunch of built-in games.   I was excited to plug it in and have a great time.    It didn’t take long before I realized how much those games suck.   I packed it away in a cabinet and just the other day threw it in the trash.

It’s a cool idea but doesn’t hold up to today’s standards.  Besides, Atari 2600 is better when remembered fondly than when it is actually played.

I still have my original 2600 in a cabinet with my Commodore 64 in the garage at my mom’s house.  Maybe one day I’ll dig it out and see if it still works.  For now.  I’ll just remember it.