Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pizza and Atari Night (Week 1 of Fireflies at Dusk: a 52-Week Project)

What goes together better than pizza and Atari?
This last week my husband and I set aside a night to enjoy them both.

We threw a cheese pizza in the oven and sauteed some vegetables to throw on top.
It was just the untangling of a few wires and the digital bliss began.

Going back a few years when my husband and I were engaged, we met up downtown after work one blustery winter evening for dinner at a restaurant where I love to celebrate my birthday.  When the evening was done, we walked back to his car past the twinkle and glow of storefront lights, and I clutched my wool coat around me as little raindrops spattered on on our cold cheeks.  We jumped into the car shivering, and turned on the heater to get warm.  He reached into the back seat to grab an Atari Flashback waiting for me.  It was the best birthday gift a 30 year old Gen Xer could receive.

This was the week to dust it off for the first time in a while and now we are at a very different place in life.   Since we're coming into the warmth of summer we opened the windows to let a breeze into the room, our sodas fizzed as we poured them over ice, and the leaves on the trees outside the window peeked in to see what we were doing.  

What caught my attention the most as we had our game night were those familiar quirky digital sounds. Those sounds were a rhythmic pattern on the backdrop my childhood that are as as much a part of me as the sounds of the ocean would be to someone who grew up on a coastline.  Those sounds, created by some programmer many years ago, held in between their wavelengths a certain grace that made me feel, even if just for a moment, that everything would be okay.

We sampled several games we'd never played, and then got really into some old favorites like Pong.  Nothing's changed since the early eighties - I'm still terrible at Space Invaders.  I'm still awesome at Maze Craze.  I'm glad I'm Generation X.

(c) 2011 writing and photography by Chloe - all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

I have one of these too! but no Pac-Man is on it. What's the deal with that? Looking at getting a more updated Atari flashback for Christmas for my significant other, though updated+flashback is a juxtaposition! lol! Have you tried any of the newer versions since you wrote this a while back? Merry Christmas! -Sandra G!

Chloe Koffas said...

Hi Sandra!
I haven't tried the newer versions and I was disappointed about Pac Man missing, too. It looks like there is a newer portable Atari with Pac Man on it - that would fit well in a Gen Xer's stocking....