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By Zed Hayden

Relax. You're not having a flashback. Retro video game systems have made a massive resurgence in recent years, likely due to the fact that some kids never grow up. There seems to be a real affection among the techno-geeks out there for the original gaming systems. A cursory search of the internet will yield hundreds of results for websites dedicated to retro gaming. These systems were all the rage back in the day, and it appears that their time has come again.

Back when I was a young boy, these gaming systems were like a gift from the heavens. The only way I was able to play video games was to go downtown to the arcade. This posed a significant problem, as my parents were not too keen on the idea of letting me go downtown by myself. Furthermore, the local arcade tended to attract some shady characters. I skipped school one afternoon and went down to play Ms. Pac-Man, but I got caught by a truant officer. After that incident, my parents were only too eager to buy me the new Atari.

Man, I loved that system. The Atari 2600 had all the best games. Asteroids was, by far, my favorite game. Dude, I could play that game forever. Or so it seemed. What about Pitfall? I loved that game, too. Then, Kung-Fu Master came out! I don't think I left my bedroom for a month. At the time, I swore I wouldn't sleep until I rescued the fair Princess Victoria. Damn those knife throwers! To this day, my parents still blame that game for the decline in my grades that semester.

By the time the home video game market bottomed out in 1984, I had amassed a rather large collection of games. I sort of lost interest in video games around that time. I ended up giving my Atari and all of the games to my kid brother. I didn't play it much anymore, and I was too busy trying to get a girlfriend. In retrospect, I wish I had kept that system. I would love to spend an evening playing Space Invaders! Maybe I'll see if that arcade is still open. I wonder if girls ever go there……

About The Author

Zed Hayden held the all-time high score for Tetris at his junior high school. Nobody ever came close to beating him, except for that kid in the chess club. When he is not playing video games or working on his 1984 Trans Am, he writes for GizmoCafe.com – an online consumer electronics guide that is the home of the Gizmo Guy (www.gizmocafe.com/about-gizmo-guy.aspx) with the latest buzz in consumer electronics (www.gizmocafe.com), retro video game systems (www.gizmocafe.com/editors-view/console-timeline.aspx) and more.