Fun & Games

Just about everyone living now has had some experience with a video game. Some may have only seen them. Others play casually; still others are full-blown gamers, with their computers and accessories that they’ve literally spent thousands on.

There are many ways to play, as well. You have your PC games, mobile games on phone or tablet, consoles, and free-standing arcade games. Today’s consoles have come a long way from what they used to be. Just released was Sony’s PlayStation 5. Some of these games you see today, the graphics are like “holy shit”. These sports games you have now almost look like a live game off the TV. Even the Mario-type games are a far cry from Super Mario Bros. on the original 8-bit NES. Those are the kind of games I used to play: the original Mario incarnations, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, etc. You know, those antique free-standing arcade games that you used to pop a quarter into. Those old machines were one-trick ponies. You could only play one game. There are arcade-type machines now that can play a myriad of games, due to the nature of storage and the ROM files that can be installed.

The way those cabinets can be loaded with like 100 games, you can have that same type of emulator on your laptop. If you have the right emulator and ROM files, you can play games from any number of consoles (Arcade, NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Intellivision, Atari 2600, PlayStations, etc.). The emulator I used on my laptop, MAME (multi-arcade machine emulator) brought back some nostalgia, being able to play all those old arcade games.

Have you ever visited the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas? I went there once, and it was great. They have hundreds of pinball machines and some arcade games restored, and anyone can play them. All the change they make is donated to Veterans’ causes. I was able to play many old pinball machines. I think the oldest one they have is from the 1940s. I would have to say that the weirdest machine I ever played, which I have not seen since the 1980s, was one called Baby Pac-Man. It was a hybrid video game-pinball machine. It was not very popular due to the high difficulty in playing. You started on the screen, but there were no “power pellets” (energizers) and the ghosts ran much faster than the Pac-Man character. If you got lucky, you escaped to be able to play the pinball part. I could never get very far on that game. You can search for this game online if you want to learn more about it.

In my youth, I spent many, many quarters on arcade games. It was fun back then. Now, unfortunately, I don’t have the time to dedicate to games like I used to (there are these called a job and bills and family that take up most of my time). I do have one go-to game, called Chuzzle. It’s a Bejeweled-type game, in which you match three of the same colored fuzzballs called Chuzzles. On my phone is Chuzzle 2, which is a spinoff of the original, only expanded and more entertaining. It’s a fun little distraction. After all, you can’t just work all the time. Everyone needs some down time with some mind-numbing entertainment.

Do you like games? Do you play a lot, just a little, or “not on your life”? Leave a comment!

Now, here is the quote of the day:

“Some people say video games rot your brain, but I think they work different muscles that maybe you don’t normally use.”

Ezra Koenig

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