Because I wasn’t feeling old enough after my annual Mole Patrol visit to the dermatologist today, I just discovered that Atari just turned 40. Oh, yes, the fine people who brought you such high-tech awesomeness as Pong and Breakout, first open their doors on June 27, 1972.
You want to know how awesome Atari is? They fired Bill Gates. Bill Gates, y’all. Steve Jobs worked there too; it was his first “real job” after dropping out of Harvard, says Yahoo!.
We had an Atari 2600 back in the day. It was freaking awesome. We had Pong and Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Frogger (my fave). Oh, and Video Pinball. My mom was particularly addicted to that one. And here I am, following in her footsteps, playing way too much Lego Batman 2 on the Wii with my kids.
Check out these hilariously old-school Atari commercials!
I found this 1978 commercial for Atari on YouTube. The poster commented, “I’m pretty sure that’s a famous baseball player. This was made 10 years before I was born, so it’s kinda before my time.” Um, you mean Pete Rose? Yeah. He was a little famous.
Don’t forget, Atari was educational, too! Here’s Alan Alda and a young Stacy Ferguson pitching Atari’s “Typo Attack” typing game. By the way, Stacy Ferguson is now better known as Fergie, from the Black Eyed Peas.
Possibly the best vintage Atari ad is this one for Pole Position, circa 1983, which serves to prove that while special effects may have sucked at the time, the music was awe. some. Also, nobody writes marketing slogans like “it will leave skid marks…on your soul” any more.
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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