Montageman: A dude who writes

March 7, 2007

Kaboom!

Filed under: atari, videogames — montageman @ 4:45 am

There was always something entertaining about watching that convict migrate across the television screen; dropping bombs as he moved from left to right.  The object of the the game is simple: don’t let the bombs hit the ground.  The player controls a bucket that must catch all of the bombs.  Childly simplistic though it may be, Kaboom! is what Atari was all about – simple but addictive gameplay.  It was quite possible for anyone to pick up a controller and play most Atari games almost seamlessly. This is due to the Atari’s inviting joystick and one button controller – a very comforting piece of technology.  The idea, and many of the ads for Atari concentrate on this, was to make playing Atari a family event replacing board games and repurposing the television beyond what the VCR had done already.

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January 30, 2007

Interest & Atari

Filed under: affect, atari, interest, videogames — montageman @ 4:32 am

My dad and his friends used to play Realsports Football for Atari 2600.  The system was housed in our basement on Stephens St. in Saint Clair Shores.  Realsports Football is the only videogame that I can picture my dad playing.   Nights playing Atari did not involve me, however, they involved my dad’s friends and gambling for either money or dinners.  Realsports Football offered very little in terms of “real football,” but what it did offer was a chance for players to imagine themselves as that week’s hot quarterback, wide receiver, or defensive end.  “Ken Anderson throws to the wide open receiver!” Atari games required an interactivity beyond that of the joystick and the game.  To truly enjoy Football, there had to be some knowledge of real football.  Early games elicited, as Tomkins might argue, interest from players because interest is a necessary condition for the formation of the perceptual world (71).  Tomkins is talking about a much larger interest here, but bringing to the level of the game works.  For Atari to work, gamers had to be interested.

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