8bitrocket.com
13Apr/120

Nerd Coming Out Party (A Poem Inspired By Raphael “Ray” Zepeda)

In  college  at CSULB I took a poetry writing class with Raphael "Ray" Zepeda.   He was (and is) part of the" Long Beach Poetry Scene" of the 80's and 90's.  He specialized in (and still does, I believe)  what he called "stand-up poetry": funny little "poems" with lots of dialogue and few adjectives that chronicled his life growing up in LA and beyond.   He received some acclaim years ago for a poem he wrote named "Cowboys And Indians", that drips with atmosphere of LA in the 60's and 70's.  I recall that he liked a poem I wrote for his class named "The Gunslinger" about my dad being upset when our family cat getting mauled by a neighborhood dog.   Anyway, yesterday I saw that Zepeda released a book of his poetry in 2009 ago named  Tao Driver, and I bought it on Amazon.  My recollection of Mr. Zapeda inspired me to write this piece about a day I recall in Jr. High.

 

Nerd Coming Out Party

"Hey, that's cool!  ColecoVision looks radical!" Alex sad.

I held the magazine with both hands, scanning  every word on the pages

Greg and Alex looked over my shoulders

"What's the 5200?" Alex asked, pointing at the next page

"It's Atari's new system.  It's supposed to kick the 2600's butt"

I turned the page.

I was sitting on the square planter near the quad

Christine and Laura were on the other side, ignoring us

As always

Handball was being played all around me

I was reading about Tennis by Activision

Alex and Greg hunkered down around my sides, trying to read the pages

"Demon Attack looks bitchen!'" Alex Said

Kenny and Jeff joined us.

"I asked my dad for River Raid and Vanguard for Christmas" I said to everyone

"Cool!" Alex replied

"You guys wanna come over and type a game into my 400 today" Kenny asked everyone

"Sure!!" Jeff and I both replied at the same time

"My dad is getting us the new Intellivoice games from work this year" Greg said to everyone

No one said anything back

"My dad thinks the Apple II is enough for us" Alex said to everyone.

"The Apple II is awesome!" I told him

"Yeah, but you can't play Pitfall! on it" Alex replied

"But you can play Artworx Strip Poker !" Kenny said

"Not with my mom around" Alex said

I turned to the next page.

It had an advertisement for Zaxxon on it

"Wow"

"Cool"

"Radical"

"Zaxxon has the best graphics in the arcade" someone said

From the other side of the planter I heard girls talking

"What are they looking at?" Christine asked Laura

"Some video game magazine" Laura replied

"Oh Gawd, what dorks" Christine said back

I kept reading the magazine until the bell rang

Snack time was over

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Atari Poetry No Comments
23Dec/110

The 12 Years Of Atari Christmas 1981-1992

On Christmas '81 Atari gave to me,

a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '82 Atari gave to me,

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On  Christmas '83 Atari  gave to me

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '84 Atari gave to me

four  XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '85 Atari gave to me

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '86 Atari gave to me

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '87 Atari gave to me

seven 7800's

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '88 Atari gave to me

eight games imported

seven 7800's

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four  XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '89 Atari gave to me

nine Lynxes playing

eight games imported

seven 7800's

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '90 Atari gave to me

ten Federated Groups closing

nine Lynxes playing

eight games imported

seven 7800's

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '91 Atari gave to me

eleven Nintendo lawsuits

ten Federated Groups closing

nine Lynxes playing

eight games imported

seven 7800's

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

 

On Christmas '92 Atari gave to me

twelve Jaguar disappointments

eleven Nintendo lawsuits

ten Federated Groups closing

nine Lynxes playing

eight games imported

seven 7800's

six peripherals

five TOS icons

four XL computers

three Swordquest titles

two arcade conversions

and a VCS under the Christmas tree

18Apr/110

Ode To A Game That Nobody Played

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

For the classes and functions and code that I made

For the weeks designing how the screen would be laid

With Pseudo-3D and traces that  rayed

With cool explosions filled with particles sprayed

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

 

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

Inspired by reviews on Games That Are Jay'd

Yes, I borrowed some ideas, it had to be said

From Bloons, and Pop-Cap And that little game Braid

Yes it's derivative, but please don't be dismayed

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

 

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

I simply can't live on the cash offers you bade

So on your portal my game just won't be displayed

As my hopes to be famous, continue to fade

My dreams of riches somehow decayed

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

 

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

It sits on my hardrive, alone and, afraid

Wait, an idea, is suddenly splayed!

I'll rework it for iOS, and then I'll get paid!

Except through the 1000's of other games it must wade

This is an ode to a game that nobody played

-8bitsteve

 

1Aug/100

If I Won The Lottery I'd Open An Atari Store

If I won the lottery, I mean like $100,000,000 lottery, I would open an Atari Store.

It would be in some kind of upscale mall or location  like Downtown Disney, Universal City Walk, The Beverly Center, The Grove, downtown San Francisco or Times Square

The store would act just like everything from Atari was still available brand new, and was just recently released.

I'd buy-up as many mint-condition products as possible, and  they would sell for a premium.  If they did not sell, so what?  I won the $100,000,000 lottery.

I'd also try to get some of the original hardware and games re-manufactured, to classic specifications, using classic technology. Why?  Just because I could.

If I owned an Atari store I would commission new games for old systems to be programmed by the original programmers who made them the first time around.

I'd also set-up new Atari systems and let anyone play them when they came in.  Atari consoles, Atari computers, Atari arcade games, and even an Atari pinball machine or two.

I'd hire a bunch of young people wearing Atari t-shirts, and they would be called "Nerds".  "Atari Nerds".  They could answer all your Atari questions.

I would open a dark ride themed to Atari in the back of the store.  You would enter a spinning hot tub and dodge venture capitalists,  Warner execs, patent lawsuits, and finally, escape the crash of video game industry and make it out alive.

If I owned an Atari store, I'd work there full time.  I'd sit behind my desk, a wood grained console tube TV with a 2600 playing Combat! attached.

I would not answer any questions, that's what the nerds would be for.  Instead, I'd work behind my desk.  I'd be programming all day long, building a magnum opus 8-bit RPG that would never be finished.

Why would it never be finished?  Because I won the $100,000,000 lottery, and I owned an Atari store with games and a dark ride dedicated to Atari.

If there were any profits from my Atari store I'd use them to form a new company: Dangerous Playgrounds For Dangerous Kids.

We would design playgrounds filled with 70's style playground equipment made with metal bars, ropes, tires, and sand.   Play equipment would spin, and shake, and move in seemingly dangerous ways.

There would be giant sand hills, merry-go-rounds, multiple tire swings connected with chains and bolts into a giant circle, drop off metal slides with metal rollers , and rockets to climb 50 feet in the air.  All the parents would be far away, sitting on the benches, knitting or smoking and reading books and newspapers.

You could play on our playgrounds without sunscreen, and with or without shoes.  Food with granulated sugar, gluten, lactose, peanuts and red dye #5, would be allowed no questions asked.

Each playground would have areas to play games like  tag, ditch-em, socco, hand-ball, butts-up, kick the can,  and dodge-ball.  Grocery store cap gun, plastic disc, and plastic pellet gun arenas would be available, but would be so popular you'd need reservations.

There would be street lights on the playgrounds.  When they came-on, it would be time to go home.

Home to play Atari.

-8bit Steve

   
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