I would like to take this opportunity to suggest a few of you perusing this post pause for a just a moment to consider an earlier age, a more simple age and a device that set many of us on the path to our constantly connected state that we now occupy. If the names Pong, Missile Command, Frogger, Asteroids, Centipede, and Burgertime mean anything to you, then I’m willing to bet that you belong to Generation X and that you just may have got your start on the road to reading a blog about technology and law by playing Atari (or maybe Intellivision but that is a post for another time).
In case you missed it, it was announced this week that Atari has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (thus the “law” part of this post) possibly marking the end of a company that arguably launched the multi-billion dollar gaming industry and causing those of us of a certain generation to remember when 128 bytes or RAM was the most up-to-date video gaming hardware available. It was the first computer I used and set me on the path to being surrounded by several platforms and devices as I write this, as I wrote above I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom this is true, I’m sure that the younger version of myself could not have imagined that 20+ years later I could play those games on my phone.
It would seem that I’m not the only one who feels this way as the Atari has been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame and has a museum dedicated to it. If all this talk has made you reminiscent for one of those games take a few minutes and see if you can get that Frog across road.