i'm in hell

I saw it last weekend.

I was at my girlfriend's brother's house, and it was sitting underneath the television set. I couldn't believe it. It had been so long.

There it was: the Atari 2600.

I immediately had flashbacks of my old Atari, the glory days of my youth, when I honed my skills at sitting in front of a mindless television screen for inordinate amounts of time. And I was good at it, too.

I would sit for hours, playing the game that would define our generation: "Space Invaders."

Of course, this was because "Space Invaders" came with the system, and my parents wouldn't buy me any other games.

Nevertheless, I soon acquired more mind-numbing pleasure. The first was "Chopper Command." I drove my parents insane by blasting those incredible sound effects at annoyingly high decibels.

If I remember correctly, the "chopper" or rather, the black square blob that was supposed to be a chopper sounded something like "Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo ..."

Then I got "Basketball." The "players" were basically stick figures with these incredibly huge noses. And I'll always remember those great sound effects. Why, if I remember correctly, the "ball" which in Atari-land is square sounded something like "Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo ..."

And don't get me started on "Pitfall." Nintendo tried to revive it a few years ago, but nothing could compare to the original.

I would sit there for hours (I see a motif forming) as "Pitfall Harry" I always wondered why they didn't just call the game "Harry" avoided the "pitfalls" on his way to collecting the riches. Money, adventure what more could a young man ask for?

Uh, how 'bout an ending? Did I mention I played that game for hours? That's because I was so brain-dead from playing it that I didn't notice it was basically the same four "pitfalls" over and over again.

The only thing I had left to play for was to get 80,000 points so I could take a Polaroid of the TV screen and send it to the company for a free "Pitfall" patch. I am proud to say I was never that crazy about the game.

All my friends soon had Atari, too. There was "Adventure," where the player navigated a blue dot around a maze in search of a "gauntlet." (Basically, it was the same as the game "Maze," only without the "gauntlet.")

In fact, soon there were two of just about every game, so Atari game manufacturers panicked. They made games such as "Journey Escape," the basic premise being that the player maneuvered the band "Journey" out of a concert and into a van in order to escape fanatic groupies, all to the tune of "Wheel in the Sky." (I credit this memory to Ron, a

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