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Pong Arrived 40 Years Ago Today + Other Video Game Memories

Kristian Dowling, Getty Images

It was 40 years ago today that the video game ‘Pong’ was introduced. Pong was the first video game to go mainstream at home and in the arcade. I was too young to remember the beginnings of ‘Pong’ but I do remember playing a Pong like game called ‘Breakout’ on my Gemini system.

The Gemini system was an Atari knock off made by Coleco. The Gemini took Atari cartridges and was a slightly less expensive machine. It was 1983, not only did I have ‘Breakout,’ but I also had ‘Combat,’ ‘Frogger,’ a Tarzan type game, ‘Donkey Kong,’ ‘Mouse Trap’ and a few others.

We used to go to The Halifax Shopping Centre as kids and play video games with our paper route money at the bowling alley. I got quite good at ‘Pole Position’ and ‘Galaga.’

Another game that took a lot of my quarters was ‘Bomb Jack.’ I was good with a joystick but games with a ball controller like ‘Mortal Kombat‘ and ‘Centipede,’ I just gave up on.

Looking back on those years, we wasted a lot of time and money. Soon after, I started buying clothes at the Mall and whistling at girls from the balcony and turning away when they looked up. Oh and the food court loitering… that was always a good waste of time as well.

Today, we have a Wii and PS2 in the house and neither of them get much attention. For my kids it’s ‘Minecraft‘, ‘Sims’ and Facebook games.

I loved video games as an adolescent but I grew out of them. I’ll play them sometimes, but I always get this nagging thought that I need to get something done. Whether it’s cleaning or errands, or something else, I can’t just relax and get sucked in like I used to. Here’s to youth and few responsibilities

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