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Missile Command

The Regan Years,

Can a videogame inspire leaders, to change the world?

Was this game designed by computer programmers inspired by the policy advisors of the Regan years, umm... Probably not I think the game came out first. Thus the policy advisors were inspired by the game. Thus a video game influenced government defense policy. And thus Star Wars was born, and did it cause the demise of Communism? It's and interesing and untestable hypothesis.

Anyhow my cousin found at Costco that you could purchase like 20 old Atari games (including Pong) in a new package,that looks like well... an Atari 2600 joystick... Well it has two RCA cables (one for the video, one for the sound) coming from it. First I was impressed that they'd put all that functonality into a package the size of just the joystick. Essentially it means thay've reduced the whole system to one board. Which isn't too impressive. But then you think about it again, and learn that the thing is running on 2AA batteries, best not mess with an extra AC transformer. And the sinker, is that they sell the whole thing for $19.95 at Costco. So the components must total a good whole $3-$5.

So that's the christmas gift. And we're sitting there comparing our skill at classic Atari video games. As it figures, anyone who didn't grow up with the stuff, was horrible at it. But my cousin and myself somehow seemed to be video game nuts in our youth. I'm not too much anymore, and my cousin's wife won't let him bring video games into the house. Saying it's bad for the kids. I guess she's got traumatic experiences of her younger brothers addictions, and doesn't want to see her own two sons with that blank I'd probably agree.

Playing in front of a Statue of a Pelican at CalSo here we are on Christmas day, playing Missile command and seeing who could get the high score. I was kind of bothered by the fact that despite not having played the game for years, and years.

If you think about it Missle command is a kind of depressing game, in the end you can't win, you're going to die, game over. The whole point of it is to use your anti-missle missles to intercept and destroy incoming nuclear warheads which are targeted to destroy your cities. Does this sound like somthing thought up during the nuclear age? Of course, and the programmers were genious. The levels get progressively harder, It moves from simple balistic missles, to ones with multiple warheads, to smart bombs.

But in the end the missles will over come your defenses, your cities will be destroyed. But yet we tried.

12.29.2003