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October 2014 Retro Gaming Article


October 29, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

From Brain Games to the Video Game Brain, we look at Atari's 2600 multi-game loader

Brain Games for Atari 2600 I came across a 2-page manual for RG International's Video Game Brain and was curious to find out a little more about it. There's often a good story behind 3rd party accessories.

It's a six game hopper that holds 6 Atari 2600 carts selectable on the fly via corresponding buttons. It attaches via the cartridge slot. In seeking more info it was hard not to keep getting search results for Atari's Brain Games (which has nothing to do with this accessory). Still, I felt compelled to add a pic of the Brain Games box art... since it has no relevance to this article.

Game Brain box I was particularly interested in it's ability to infinitely daisy chain these units by plugging a connector cable into the sixth cart slot of another unit. I'm not sure how many of these devices one would want to have attached at once.

It has no function other than being able to have up to 6 carts connected at once. It saves the effort of removing and inserting the next game you want to play.

As a new item on a retail shelf, I'm sure I could easily have passed it up. Come to think of it... I must have ignored it since I don't seem to have one. But as a collectable, this is one of those oddball items that's fun to have.

As manuals go, this is the sort of product that could probably suffice with a a half-sheet. Still they were able to reach a second page. This may be due to the additional artwork needed to show how 2 units are connected. Notice that the first diagram labeled slots one through six and felt the need to denote the "name" of each one.

It is listed as having 2 "cartridge storage compartments". One wonders why leave 2 blanks, but I'm guessing it's length corresponds with the dimensions of the Atari VCS.

Game Brain diagram Game Brain diagram Just so we're clear - this is a fairly bland item with little intrigue or functionality. But - if I found one of these at a flea market, I'd be totally stoked and all over it ;)

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