Ah the 80’s, a time that was so much simpler and probably one of the greatest times to grow up since we had modern convenience, but were not so interconnected that we lived off smart phones. We made plans with each other, played outside still, and were able to go to the park by ourselves without our parents as we were expected to go have fun and we would be OK out in the world as kids. It was a glorious time for us to be growing up. Whether it be the cartoons, actually playing outside, or toys we lived in what I still consider to be one of the most glorious decades to have been a kid.
Today I’m walking down memory lane of the vintage video games and where we played them. This was the first decade that these fun little time wasters really started to take hold and life has never been the same for kids since.
Remember the excitement of going to arcades? The lights, sounds, and atmosphere made them the place to hang out in the 80’s. Teens and preteens all crammed together to pump quarter after quarter into giant wooden cabinets that housed classics like Pac Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug. The arcade was the place to be for most kids. Now 30 years later they have mostly been regaled to the sideshow with only a few larger ones remaining with a much more limited game selection. Arcades were where we met new people, challenged our friends to epic battles, and socialized. Now the classic arcade is no more.
One of the first forays into bringing the arcade home was the Atari 5200 which brought some of the arcade magic to our own living rooms. This was the start of the console craze and used cartridges to store games a instead of having them on the system itself. It opened up a world of new possibilities. The carts held up to 111.5 Megabytes of data, revolutionary in the time, to put that in perspective the Nintendo Switch has cards that reach 32 Gigabytes of data.The Switch is among the smallest carts ever, while the Atari’s was the largest. How far we’ve come!
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Who can forget the NES, the system the basically resurrected the floundering video game industry in 1985 and gave us many, many classic games and franchises. Super Mario, Zelda, Punch Out, Kid Icarus, Excitebike, Metroid, and Final Fantasy are but a few classics that got their origin in eight bit glory. On top of that look what this bad boy came with, not only did you get two games, but a light gun, and R.O.B. A robot that was instrumental in playing the launch title gyromite.
It’s fun looking back into this era of gaming and the nostalgia it provides. So many times running through games, trying to learn the pattern. A true to those patterns these games were unforgiving, if you made a mistake you died. Die to many times and you start all the way over again.
What’s your favorite game from the 80s? I have a special place in my heart still for a good game of Galaga.