Old School Dad Teaches his 9 Year Old about Centipede

Atari Centipede Glass
Atari Centipede Glass

I took a trip to Target because of a post this week about the Pitfall t-shirt and the Atari retro glasses. After work, I purchased the glasses but could not bring myself to take them into the house with no fanfare. They are made of very sturdy glass and quite durable. At first, I was just going to bring them in the house but I did not do that. You see, I hid them in the trunk of my car for a special occasion. Good grades, good chores, I figured these were quality retro items and they were not to be taken lightly. So, in the trunk they sat until today.

This evening while I was sitting at the computer, my daughter said “Dad, will you get me a glass of Hawaiian punch?” “Sure…” I said, and asked, “was that a question?” She answered “Well, it’s really a question and a command. Kind of both”. As I opened the cupboard, I yearned for a glass that wasn’t plain or normal. Something with a movie theme or logo on it. Alas, there was nothing there. I then remembered the glasses in the trunk.

So I struck a deal. Hey, you’re thirsty right? Well, it is almost time for bed. I will make you a deal. You go take a shower and by the time you get out I will have a huge cold class of (do you want ice with that?) Hawaiian punch sitting here in a huge videogame glass. ‘How about that? “But I am thirsty now” – “Yeah, but really this is a good trade. You get ready for bed, and then Ill bring out a cool videogame glass full of Hawaiian punch”. It finally worked.

Quick as I could, I got the centipede glass from the trunk, filled it with liquid Fruit Juicy Red – then the ice – (it is over 100 degrees outside), I didn’t want the glass to crack. I put it on the corner of the counter and went back to the PC. A few minutes later I heard footsteps behind me.

“Slurp….. Thanks for this dad….. What is centipede?”

At first, I hesitate, and think to myself. Is she serious? Then realize to my dismay – she is serious.

“Centipede? Why it is a game where you do this and that, and it has a track-ball. (3 min rant)”

“I don’t understand what you are talking about”


“Hang on, I’ll show you what it looks like. I mean, I am your dad, I will not let you down.”

Here is how it went.
1) youtube search “centipede” (real centipede videos)
2) youtube search “centipede retro” (VG centipede videos)

“Hey watch this…. (bleep a de bleep-a-ping, bloopadie, bloopadie bloop.)”

“Can’t I just play it?”

Ummmm. Not really. Hey, how about this, (Dad fires up lynx emulator, downloads centipede rom and discovers it has no sound).

“Well, really it was fun. Trust me. Compared to today, you might not think it was all that great, but back then, on a scale of 1 to 10 it was about a 9. Today, I would think you would rate it at about 3 or 4. But really, it was a fun game at the time!”


When not nostalgia blogging, ElectricDisk is busy with super secret sci-fi stuff like Time Travel, Parallel Universes, Warp Speed and Ion Cannons

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