Thursday, June 22, 2006

Game Time

Reading this fluff piece in today's WaPo brought back a flood of memories. If you have any appreciation for the Arcade Era then it will probably have the same effect on you. Right now I would kill to have just a few hours in this guy's basement to play Tron, Discs of Tron, Dig Dug, Q*bert, and of course Star Wars (in the cockpit console!).

In my senior year of college I had to take a microprocessors course which was a death blow for me because I loathe programming. The course was set up as a series of projects so on the first day I scanned the room for the most pathetic looking guy in class (which was a tough choice given this was an engineering course at VT) and walked right up to him, "hey man, do you want to be my partner?" Best decision I ever made. This class was so beneath this guy he could have never shown up and still made an A. He was so anal about his programming skills that he didn't want me to do anything, so we came to an unspoken arrangement. He wrote all the code and I wrote all of the lab reports and presented them (we were both working to our only skills).

One afternoon we had to get together to work on our final project so I went over to his apartment where much to my delight I discovered an original Spy Hunter arcade console sitting in his living room. One of his roommates had won it in a raffle at the student center and the damn thing still worked. While he was grinding away at his PC mumbling gibberish to himself I spent two hours playing Spy Hunter and bitching about the ineffectiveness of the Interceptor's oil slick mechanism. Good times.


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