I have a soft spot in my heart for Atari games. My earliest gaming memories are of me as a toddler, playing Defender on a hand-me-down Atari 2600. Though it wouldn’t be long before Nintendo took a firm grip of my soul, my nostalgia for that console and its games never let go.
A few days ago, I bought the Atari Flashback Classics collection on the Nintendo Switch. Containing 150 titles released in the arcade, Atari 2600, and Atari 5200, I got it for on sale for a measly $25 CAD (roughly $20 USD). Granted, it’s far from a definitive collection when it comes to selection, but to get ports of so many foundational games of the medium’s history for dirt cheap feels…unsettling.
This reality though isn’t that surprising. While old Nintendo consoles and games are highly sought after and sell for high prices, Atari’s products haven’t retained their value in the same way. If anything, it’s only getting worse as time goes on.
In the mid 2000s, my friend Wendy and I ventured out of town to check out an independent video game store. Looking for gift ideas for her friend, we came across two Atari 2600 consoles and a stash of games. She took the original wood-panel 2600 and half of the games, and I took the Atari 2600 Jr. and the other set of games. Since then, I’ve slowly added games to my collection as I’d stumble across games at conventions. While I still don’t consider myself to be a collector, my small Atari set is the one thing I’m collecting primarily for the sake of possessing these items rather than playing them.
As far as I know, I am currently not a father. I’m not done living the “free” adult life at this point in time. However, at some point I would totally love to be a father. I don’t really think that much about it, but when I do, I often think about how I would introduce video games into the life (or lives) of my future little ones.
Berzerk has a unique and weird place for itself in the pantheon of video games. In the arcade, it was one of the first video games with speech. It’s also believed to be the first (and I think only) video game to actually kill a person.