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So, this is the first entry in a blog that doesn't exist yet, part of a web site that isn't finished yet. It's as good a place to start as any, right?
The Games of Atari web site, which hopefully is up and running by the time you read this, is dedicated to those things that have wasted, and continue to waste, countless hours of my life. Video games. In particular, this site is a big "thank you" to the company that helped start the whole thing: Atari.
You could say Atari is the Forrest Gump of the video game world. For over twenty years, Atari had a front row seat to practically every major event in the industry, and were often the ones responsible for the headlines. However, despite the obvious charm, there were times when the company's apparent lack of intelligence was both extremely laughable and heartbreakingly sad. Nevertheless, the company proved itself endearing, and its product enduring. To this day, the die-hard fans, like me, still play with the old stuff, dreaming of the days when arcade games only cost a quarter and didn't require
learning how to dance or memorizing endless button combinations.
So, my goal with this site is to preserve the piece of history that is Atari's heyday, documenting the games, systems, and companies that all had the privilege of crossing paths with the almighty Atari. It's (hopefully) going to have it all by the time I'm done: images, sounds, reviews, facts, opinions, rumors, questions, answers, mysteries, discoveries, bugs, tricks, Easter Eggs, and all matter of fascinating (and fascinatingly useless) trivia.
There are a few things I'm trying to do differently than other sites. For starters, the screen shots and audio clips come from actual, original video game hardware, and not from emulators. This means you get to see exactly how those old games look and sound on those old systems. The exception is arcade games. I've found those are a bit difficult to hook up to the computer, particularly since I don't own any. I also have some other justifications for using arcade emulators, which I might go into someday if anyone besides me actually cares. Anyway, the point is, you're getting the genuine product here,
a good 90% or more of the time!
Another difference is that I'm hoping to track down and document all the different versions of each game that were released for each system, including all the homebrews and hobby projects. Homebrews are getting a lot of attention nowadays, thanks to some spectacular new releases for systems like the Atari 2600 and the ColecoVision. However, computers have long enjoyed the benefits of hobbyists and tinkerers. Some, like the Commodore 64, enjoy a vast library of homemade programs, rivaling the commercial offerings in both quantity and quality. A few of these homebrews, new and old, are based on other, "real" releases. The dirty little secret is, there are times when the amateurs do a much better job than the professionals. So, even if it means listing umpteen zillion different versions of Pac-Man and eleventy jillion ways to play Tetris, I want to catalog them all!
Why am I doing all this to the Nth degree? Simple.
I'm an obsessive-compulsive and I can't help myself.
Actually, that's not true (I think). If I was such an obsessive-compulsive, this would have been finished years ago, when I first dreamed up the project. I'm far too lazy to be a convincing O-C.
No, I just figure, if I'm going to do a site like this, the best plan is to make it unique, and to go all the way! Plus, this gives me the perfect excuse to brush up on some marketable skills. Sadly, my pipe dream of getting paid to sit around and play video games all day long may never come true, but it certainly can't hurt to know a bit more about things like CSS, XML, PHP and MySQL, and hey, who can say knowing about video editing won't come in handy some day?
So, here I am, and here the site is (or will be). I hope you like it.
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