Classic Retro Video Game Blog

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

April 2015 Retro Gaming Article

April 7, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

As I matured, gaming moved from the floor to the couch, but the games remain the same

Was it short cords or the fact that there were cords? The cables on my Atari 2600 joysticks didn't allow much distance between me and my new console. Even our Betamax's "remote control" had a long cable attached to it's front panel. Wireless - what's that?

Video games were meant to be played on the floor, right in front of the TV!
Despite such physical limitations, everyone I knew sat on the floor while playing video games. Be it Atari, Colecovision, or Intellivision, we sat in arms-reach of the console with the TV looming above us. We didn't worry about eye-strain warnings from passing parents. We were fixated on those moving pixels that created a brilliant world to explore. We sat on the floor because we loved games and wanted to be close to the action on the screen.

Our first color TV was a Zenith console style model on legs No boring afternoon soaps. The evening news was miles away and we had the opportunity to do more than just sit idly at the TV. Like our favorite TV shows, video games provided story lines... but WE controlled them. The TV was no longer a static experience. It was a dynamic interactive adventure!

We may have been an animated character or a single pixel moving about the screen. The key was that WE were moving that pixel. We jumped, ducked, dodged, ran, and always fired back! We were saving the world, after all!

How could you not sit on the floor? You had to be at the forefront of such interaction. As an Atari kid, I wanted to be close to the action, but also wanted the Game Select Switch close at hand for games like StarMaster.

You had to interact with the consoles switches to play. Activision's Space Shuttle game had a Flight Deck Console overlay that re-labeled all of the 2600's switches for use in the game. Playing video games as a kid always involved sitting on the floor.

Moving to the Couch

I game from the couch, but I'm a kid at heart!
I was probably in my early thirties when I began to consider the possibility of maturing and begin sitting on the couch to play games. By this time I was a Nintendo convert and loved my NES and the endless stream of games that seemed to appear for it. I was quick to jump on the SNES and still have vivid memories of sitting on the floor with both my NES and SNES.

As the Jaguar came to market, I was acting like an actual adult and was gaming from the couch. Although the first few games on any new console always take place on the floor, after setting it up. I had made the move to that cushy place that adults tend to sit. when I was playing Asteroids on my Atari 2600, my parents sat on the couch reading the paper and other worldly pursuits of those who don't game.

gaming on the couch with friends Just as the gaming industry shifted to shiny discs, I discovered a new passion in gaming. I loved arcade ports on the 2600 and they only got better on the NES & SNES. When the PlayStation came on the scene, it's storage capacity enabled what became the compilation disc games.

From Activision Classics and the Atari Collections to volumes of Namco Museum, I was in arcade heaven! THESE were the games I loved! I was astounded to find so many arcade games on a single disc. I enjoyed a lot of the modern games for the PlayStation, but it was the arcade and classic console games that won me over. As I bought new consoles, I was eager to see which classics would be released.

My friends felt the same way - we were astounded by the advancements in game development, but nothing beat a game of Galaga or Dig Dug. Even today my son loves games on his Wii and PS3, but we always pop in Metal Slug Anthology or Midway's Arcade Classics. You just can't escape the awesomeness of retro gaming.

Whether I'm sitting on the floor or the couch, the games remain the same. I sat on the floor playing Yar's Revenge, Bionic Comando, Starfox, and Tempest 2000. I still love those games and play them while sitting on the couch.

« Return to the main Retro Gaming Blog 2015