I forget which Christmas it was exactly, but I certainly remember opening that Package of Awesome: the Atari 2600. So sleek. So shiny. So new. Joystick controllers–two of them! And you could swap out games to play different ones. And it was in color! Sure, it was no NES, but it was still great. I spent many happy hours on that machine, playing Pitfall, Joust, Ms. Pac Man, Kung Fu, Yars Revenge, Asteroid–many hours. Before my Atari, I’d played some handheld game & watch games, as well as a few games on an old Heathkit computer (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons–still one of my favorite all time games). But this–this was my first encounter with technology I could use as I saw fit. I loved it. It’s no doubt what sent me down the path where I am now, with multiple laptops, a desktop, PS3, Wii, DS, iTouch, iPod . . . I’m a gadget freak.
To share some of my geekery with you, I give you the Atari Arcade. Atari’s made java versions of some of its most famous games, and you can play them online now. Free. Isn’t technology grand?