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The Atari 2600 Generation Has (never) Grown up

I am 36 years old now. I'm part of the Atari generation. A friend of mine came over this weekend and we spent the entire Martin Luther King holiday weekend playing World of Warcraft.

It occurred to me that this is not a terribly unusual situation for people my age. Our parents find it unfathomable that adults play video games. I'm struggling with the fact that there are enough console games for four-year-olds.

I think the Atari generation is the group of people between the ages of 28 and 38. This is a unique generation in that virtually every single one of us had an Atari, or spent many hours with our "best friend" who was the other kid on the block with an Atari.

Very few of us played video games with our parents, but almost all of us play video games with our children today.

Our parents tried to convince us that Atari would rot our brains, and we should go outside and play baseball. They played catch and hit the ball all day long. They threw footballs and played basketball, and spent most of the day outdoors. They were convinced their children should do the same. But I ask you this, among those who dedicate their lives to sports and among those who dedicated their lives to sitting in front of a computer screen, which group has been more successful in generating positive results for society? Geeks have given us the Internet, a truly shrinking world, entertainment and information at our fingertips. Sports stars have given us multimillion dollar contracts, skyrocketing ticket prices, intense merchandising, and of course steroids.

Our parents thought Atari was a phase. In a sense they are right, Atari has gone by the wayside more than two decades ago, but it was the beginning, the origin of a new form of entertainment and in my opinion, family togetherness.

I feel like I was a witness to something great.

Tell me your thoughts...

Comments

  1. Sorry - I disagree... you've gotta up the age to 43! To think I was impressed with "realsports baseball"! But CIRCUS ATARI was the bomb for me... (pun intended).

    ReplyDelete

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