I just just being a couch potato the other day, just channel surfing and entering one of my favourite places - the mindless zone. When I'm in that happy place, I often play simple video games that have been integrated into our cable company's digital video recorder. Right now I'm playing one that involves matching 3 like fruits in a row to make them disappear. I love simple games like this, my favourite being Tetris. I can play that with one hand whilst on the phone. Can you say multitasking?!
While mindlessly enjoying the fruit game, I suddenly remembered the very first commerically sold video game called "PONG". My cousins were the first people I knew who bought the game back in the mid 1970's. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw. It was seemingly simple, yet you needed the quickness and dexterity of Superman and the patience of a Saint. It made cool, rhythmic sounds and it was designed for interactive or solitary play. Tennis was hugely popular at that time, so PONG was embraced with a passsion. Atari created more amazing games such as Pacman, Space Invaders and my favourite called Centipede.
Back in the day, my friends and I used to go to video arcades to play these games. It was a really great way to spend time as a kid in a very sociable way while challenging myself to beat the high scores! Unlike today's gaming culture where mostly males play alone in their rooms, arcades were the hub of social activity, not just for playing, but for having a snack, sipping a drink and laughing with your friends.
A couple of years ago, my husband found a PC compatible collection of the old Atari games. So 30 years later I am again enjoying Centipede, this time in my office, avoiding work and having a great time.