Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The Art of Video Games
Atari, PlayStation, SegaGenesis and other video game consoles and their games are featured in an exhibit called The Art of Video Games which is currently running (or playing?) at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University in Miami.
Walking through the exhibit was like taking a stroll through my childhood, especially when I arrived at the Atari display.
I remember sitting in front of my little TV set in my bedroom where I would shift left and right at the edge of my twin bed as I played Pitfall!, Joust, Beserk, Keystone Cops, and ET! (For some reason, I could never get ET home in time, no matter how many times I tried to phone home.)
When I went to the mall with my parents on Thursdays (my dad's day off from work), I always headed to the TV/electronics section at Sears and Jordan Marsh where there was a video game set up. I played whatever was presented at the time while my family shopped.
Part of the thrill of playing was being able to make the different characters perform the way I commanded them to via the joystick. The games were akin to my own personal live action cartoons that I could direct with my every move.
The other part of the fun was excelling at something that was non-academic since I was pretty average at sports (except jump roping. Side note: I was a champion jump roper in the city of Miami Beach Parks and Recreation program at Muss Park. The Miami Herald even wrote a profile of me back then.)
But once I started high school, I gradually stopped playing video games. I don't know why. The thrill faded away. I remember wanting to ride my ten-speed bike more than playing the games. I also began to take a deep interest in all things cars, Popular Mechanics magazine, Star Trek: The Next Generation and R-rated movies on cable. So I gave my console and collection to one of my younger cousins.
But seeing the old Atari 2600 console at FIU brought back so many fond memories. I immediately began to yearn for those simple days when I was a curly-haired kid who enjoyed sitting in front of a little TV set as I laughed and played my heart out.
This is a really l-o-n-g way of saying that I wrote a story about this Art of Video Games exhibit.