Tag Archives: Space Invaders

Defined my childhood: console video games

Defined my Childhood: Space Invaders (ATARI 2600)

Space Invaders retro video gameContinuing my exploration into the home console video games that Defined My Childhood, starting in chronological order with my ATARI 800 & 2600, I dedicate this post to Space Invaders on the ATARI 2600.

Space Invaders (ATARI 2600)

In preparation for this series, I asked my mom what games she remembered me playing often as a child, & one of the first games she mentioned was Space Invaders.  I remember Space Invaders fondly, but she emphatically stated I played it almost every single day for hours at a time as a very young child.  The game came out for the ATARI 2600 in 1980, but I’m not sure if we got it right away.  My mom says she remembers me playing this game at a very early age.

I’m sure that many of you have seen this game in an arcade at some point, but my first exposure was in my home on the ATARI 2600.  This is probably where my fondness for Galaga and shooters originated.  But funnily enough, I don’t think I played Galaga on our ATARIs at home nor did I play Space Invaders at the arcade.  I’m just weird like that, I guess.  This game laid the groundwork for my taste in, & definitely for my love for, video games.  Looking back at this game, it was also probably extremely helpful in mastering my left/right dyslexia, honing my eye-hand coordination, as well as timing in general.  Hours of fun, over countless days of my childhood.

Do you have any ATARI memories?  Or any Space Invaders memories?  Which home console video games helped define your childhood?

Defined my childhood: console video games

#tbt: Defined My Childhood: ATARI 800 & 2600

Atari console

Atari = old school gaming

The consoles that started it all for me.  My maternal grandfather always loved technology & so, when the ATARI 800 came out in 1979, he bought the console for my mom.  I’m not sure if this is something she asked for or not, but I reaped the benefits!  I was a precocious child, so I was very interested in technology & how things worked.  I especially enjoyed puzzles & patterns, something that has stayed true to this day.  I played Pong a lot, though my mom says I wasn’t very good.  But hey, as a 2-3 year-old, I think I was pretty awesome!

In 1985, my mom bought the ATARI 2600 for Christmas, since she saw I enjoyed playing the ATARI 800 so much. The elegant simplicity & simultaneous complexity of the games this console brought into my life were wonderful.  I loved the joystick controller; some games should only be played with a joystick, in my opinion.  There is no doubt in my mind that my affinity for arcade machine controllers with joysticks stems from my ATARI 2600 playing. [See my post on my top single-player and top multiplayer arcade games for more.]Atari joystick

Both ATARI consoles were an important introduction to video games & they began my diverse interest in gaming genres. It also helped hone my developing eye-hand coordination, which would serve me well later on as a soccer goalie, volleyball player, & 1st base in softball.  I don’t remember playing ATARI games that were multiplayer with anyone other than with my mom, so it definitely wasn’t something that I remember bonding me with other fellow emerging gamers.

In upcoming posts of this series, I will be discussing the games that really defined my childhood on these consoles (in no particular order): Centipede, Joust, Pac-Man, Pong, & Space Invaders.

Do you have any ATARI memories?  What ATARI game made the biggest impact on you as a child?

Photo credit: striatic / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: 
mrbill / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)