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An article about four decades of playing video games
I've been playing video games for forty years. I began playing video games in April of 1981 at the age of nine. The first game that I played was Phoenix. For those who may not know, Phoenix is an arcade game that was released by Centuri in 1980.

When my brother started talking about playing arcade games, I thought I wouldn't be interested, but it made me curious. I decided to check out the Phoenix arcade machine at Kroger. I put a quarter in the coin slot and fell in love. I now own a Phoenix arcade machine that I bought in 2002 but sadly, it no longer works.

I loved the Phoenix arcade game so much that I was hoping to win $1000 to buy one for myself forty years ago. In 1981, Pepsi was having a contest. Each Pepsi lid had a letter under it. If a person could collect the letters C-H-A-L-L-E-N-G-E, he or she would win $1000. I collected every letter except the letter A. The letter A was extremely difficult to find so I failed to win the $1000.

I also started playing other arcade games. Some of the ones that I played were Gorf, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Carnival, Centipede, Asteroids, etc. Even though these were arcade machines, I never once played an arcade game in an arcade. I played them at grocery stores, department stores and flea markets.

The first video game that I owned was Scramble by Tomy. Tomy's Scramble was a handheld game. It was based on the Scramble arcade game that was released by Stern/Konami. I got it for Christmas in 1982. The arcade Scramble was better than Tomy's handheld Scramble. But because Tomy's version was easier to play, I liked it better than the Scramble arcade game.

Mom bought me an Atari 2600 in July of 1983. I used to hate to go to Revco pharmacies. Mom would drag me in those pharmacies to buy school supplies. They were dull stores and I hated them. But when I learned that Revco started selling Atari 2600 games for $5.00-$5.50, Revco went from being dull to excellent. Other stores charged about $30.00 for Atari games. Because the games were so cheap, I was able to easily buy them. Revco pharmacies quickly became my favorite stores.

It is amazing how much video games have improved since 1981. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how beautiful the graphics of today's games would be. I own many different video game consoles. I own the Sony PS2, PS3, PS4, the Nintendo Switch, the XBOX ONE, etc.

Some people may think that it's silly for a man who is almost fifty to still be playing video games. But I'm a video game junkie. I've been a junkie since 1981 and I'll be one for the rest of my life. And because video games have improved so much over the years, I love them even more now than I did forty years ago.
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