8-bit time capsule
My brother Nick showed up yesterday to watch The Greatest American Hero (courtesy of our new Netflix Wii disc!) and as if that weren’t flashback enough, he brought this over, too:
Now, that’s not our first Atari, obviously, but it is the cheap second-generation 2600 that Mom and Dad got after we apparently played the first one to death. And let’s see … >countcountcount< I’m positive that 15 of these cartridges are from our family’s original collection. (Others, I’m guessing, are games that belonged to friends which were loaned or traded and just never made it back to their homes.)
I have no explanation for the duplication of E.T. cartridges, although as far as the two RealSports Football games go, I have a hunch one of them might actually contain Combat, because at some point, I got adventurous and thought I’d see if I could switch the boards between cartridges, just for fun. (Because come on, how fun is it to imagine your friend’s face when he goes home and pops that borrowed game into his Atari only to see Combat show up? That’s classic, right?)
Sadly either the console or the power supply is shot, because I couldn’t get the system to fire up, but in my brain, it was like dynamiting an avalanche.
As with things like Star Wars figures and trading cards, there’s a fantastic tactile memory embedded in holding these cartridges and feeling their particular weight and texture. And the label art and the fonts and even the different casing structures that different game companies like Activision and Imagic and Coleco used once they entered the market – all these little things just trigger recollections and sensations, and I can see myself turning to this picture for some throwback writing in the not-too-distant future.