It is once again the 26th of the month which can only mean Atari Day is here and that it gives us the opportunity for us fans of the legacy of that company to celebrate by sharing our memories and attempting to guide others to the many, many hours of gaming that are still to be had.
Heck, if you want proof just look at the release of the Atari Vault on Steam a couple of days ago!
Now for this Atari Day, I kind of feel like I’m cheating as I sort of mentioned this story over on the Diary of An Arcade Employee Facebook Page. But it’s a personal story that bears repeating and delving into a little deeper I think and it concerns the 1983 M*A*S*H game, based of course on the popular TV series, from 20th Century Fox Games.
Now M*A*S*H was a very well liked TV series in my household when I was growing up and there were many a dinner eaten in the living room while watching the series. When it’s last episode aired most of the day at school was devoted to my Teacher and those of us that watched it discussing the ramifications of the outcomes of the characters. Overall the show ran from 1972 until 1983 for a total of 11 seasons so that is quite why when it was announced that a game was coming out I was very excited to get my hands on it.
I’ve mentioned before that when I was growing up money was pretty tight for my Father and myself but on a rare occasion I could pick out a game cartridge…imagine how awesome it was to see our local Wal-Mart carrying the title and it came with a M*A*S*H T-Shirt! I totally was daydreaming about how cool it was going to be to walk into school the following Monday wearing that shirt.
The problem is…when I was a kid I think it’s safe to say I was something of a smart aleck. It would on occasion get me into some hot water at school and at home or in this case it rightfully cost me the M*A*S*H game and that glorious T-Shirt. My Father and I were walking towards the check out counter in the electronics section, the subject of a school friend’s upcoming birthday party was brought up…a disabled friend…and I smarted off. I can vividly recall my Father stopping dead in his tracks and looking at me with a deserved sense of disappointment, very calmly taking the game and T-Shirt from my hands and saying that I didn’t deserve such a gift, he returned it to the cashier and we left the store.
He was of course totally right. Thankfully there weren’t too many moments like that in my youth but it was a very important learning experience, a life lesson. Being taught to be a better person was all thanks to M*A*S*H for the Atari 2600.
I did get my hands on the game itself many years later and it’s pretty awesome if you ask me, with the game split into two sections. With the first screen you have to pilot a chopper back to the 4077th and avoid enemy fire, in the second section you have to operate on a fallen soldier, carefully removing shrapnel.
[Via] William Hunter
To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!