Sunday, 7 October 2007

The golden age of video games

Car boot sales are great, aren't they? There's a large one at the end of our road every Sunday, and we've been to a handful this year. There's a fascinating sub-culture that thrives here which is so much more engaging than normal markets; there can't be many better places for people watching.

Of course, they've gone downhill in the last few years, since most people sell their best stuff on eBay. But there are still a few bargains to be had, and it's fun wandering round the stalls. We've mainly kept an eye out for toys, books and clothes for the kids (they grow up so fast, you know, and we're not made of money), but I've also kept an eye out for retro gaming equipment.

I hit the jackpot today! A full working Commodore 64, complete with packaging and leads, all for just £4! That's right, four English pounds! I could hardly keep my hand steady as I handed over the coins. I love the packaging and branding, it's worth reminding the kids that Apple weren't the first to do this right:
Commodore 64

When I was in my teens, it seemed most of my friends had a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, or a Spectrum+. A few had Amstrad CPC 464s. But I was the only kid I knew with a Commodore 64. I'm convinced to this day that the graphics and games were superior. It kept me out of mischief for the best part of 5 years, until I sold it to raise enough money for my first proper stereo - a sale I've grown to regret as the years have gone past.

In fact, it's not precisely the same model I had as a callow youth. Mine looked like this, and the one I bought today is the 64c, and looks like this. But they're essentially the same under the hood. And they play the same games. And so I'm now off to eBay to look for games such as Gauntlet, Starquake, Summer Games, Knightmare, Bubble Bobble and Yi-Ar Kung-Fu. So much for saving money at car boot sales....

5 comments:

Robbie said...

Did you have the football game where you had to plug the cartridge into the side of the commadore? You could either be the blue team or the red team. Great days.

Phil Whitehouse said...

I think you might mean Kick Off:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kick_Off

But I'm afraid I didn't play, my football game of choice was Emlyn Hughes!

http://tinyurl.com/yugzfh

Good times...

sonicpixie said...

I recently acquired a Bandai Vectrex, so I understand the geek love you are feeling. Was Elite available on the Commordore? Ahh, that sends me back...

Gordon said...

Have you seen this song dedicated to/inspired by Yi Ar Kung Fu?

http://yiarkungfu.blogspot.com/2007/05/yi-ar-kung-fu.html

Phil Whitehouse said...

Thanks Gordon, top linkage!