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Monday, August 29, 2011

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"Gold Leader, this is Red 5. I'm going in!" In the Summer of 1983, I fed probably $300 in change into this Atari arcade game (the upright model) at a Waterville, Maine pizza parlor. That was the Summer after my last year of High School, and I was working at a paper mill to make money for Art School. In the evenings, I would meet up with a few of my friends for pizza and Star Wars. If I recall correctly, this same restaurant also had the Astron Belt laserdisc game (with the Message from Space movie footage) for a while, but that one was infuriatingly difficult to play.  

Star Wars, on the other hand, was so damned much fun, with its colorful vector graphics, John Williams themes and soundbites from the movie. If I recall correctly, we all got pretty good at it (the owner must have had it set on "easy" mode!), and spent hours at that joint eating mediocre pie and pumping quarters into the game. Considering how few other customers I can recall ever seeing in there, I suspect we were keeping the place in business all by ourselves....


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