Thursday, May 29, 2014


Pinball was a wonderful pastime in days gone by. A sleek metal ball batted around by flippers and bumpers made wonderful sounds as the backboard racked up points. The lights were also a large part of the excitement, especially to a kid. I still love to play and miss the old mechanical monstrosities that used to be widely found in restaurants and various shops.
Pong was the first game I remember being able to play in the home on TV from an electronic device. There were no PC’s or any other devices with electronic interactive screens, just a television. In those days, computers were also monstrosities found in official buildings spitting out punch cards for various important matters. If anyone was using them for any sort of entertainment, they certainly weren’t sharing with the general population. I knew nothing of binary language, bits or bytes.
Pac Man showed up in a bowling alley near my home. It was amazing! I remember trying to make sense of what I saw, and the best I could come up with when relating it to people that hadn’t seen it was to describe it as a sort of cartoon you could control yourself. In retrospect and with all I’ve seen since, it really wasn’t that intricate. You used a joystick that only moved in a plus sign pattern, and Pac Man only moved in preset paths, but it was cool that the screen had wrap-around capability. From a non-digital background, it was almost magical at the time. Pinball machines were still there in the bowling alley as they would always be, or so I thought. Pong came and went when more exciting games came along in arcades, then the home. I can still play all the above games and many more on my own computers. What were the games that captured your imagination? Donkey Kong, anyone?
Recall your escape!
                                                                                                                        ~ Chuck


  1. I remember we used to go to this pizza place when we were really young and they had a Miss Pac Man table top game. Andy and I would play that and get yelled at for not eating our pizza!!! Remember those table top arcade games?!! With touch screen technology why aren't there a modern version of that in eateries?

  2. That sounds familiar. Where was that?

  3. Steve, that was at the Upper Crust Pizza place when it was in front of Toys R Us. Ages ago!!!

  4. Great post! It reminded me of an italian restaurant my parents used to take us to on special occasions. There was a wall full of pinball machines, I would beg my parents for quarters to play!