A Review of Video Olympics for the Atari 2600
A few years ago, I sat down with a friend of mine named Bill and we started talking about the Olympics. I always enjoyed watching the Olympics, but had really thought critically about them. Bill made an argument that the way we run the Olympics today was all wrong. He thought that no event that involved judging should be included and pretty much thought team events should be out as well.
At first, I just laughed, but then as if by magic it started to get through to me. I don’t even remember all the finer points of his argument, but by the end of the conversation I was convinced that the Olympics were a bloated joke that existed more for entertainment than true sport. So convincing was Bill that something I had not cared about 40 minutes earlier had become an issue near and dear to my heart (I suspect wizardry on his part.)
I have tried many times to convince others of the same thing, but whenever I open my marble prone maw only goofy half-arguments fall out. So I pretty much have nothing to say about the Olympics anymore. I do not watch it and I try not to talk about it because I have no alternatives to offer anyone stupid enough to sit down and listen to me for over 5 minutes. But that’s about to change, because I finally found the perfect replacements for the bloated rotting corpse that we call the Olympic Games and it has been sitting under my nose for over 2 decades, Video Olympics.
Why is Video Olympics the perfect replacement? Because it takes a dozen different games (all of them Pong) and turns them all into Pong (which is also Pong). No longer do you need to play Volleyball, it is now Pong! Tennis? How about Pong? Handball? One person Pong. Hockey? More like Pongkey!
Now you might say, “Hey! They just turned all my favorite sports into Pong?!”
They sure did Sonny Jim and that’s why every 4 years we should all sit down to play Video Olympics instead of your much vaunted and wasteful Olympiad (every 2 years if you want to change it up and play it in an unheated room in Iceland) — we might be short or tall, skinny or fat, but we CAN ALL PLAY PONG. To sweeten this already honey drenched pot, the game has multiple modes, allowing for up to 4 players. While some of them are uninspired, the majority of them are fun if you have a friend (which I will have soon) to play with. But enough with details, let’s get back to reality…
With this new Video Olympics, we remove the judging and set the games back to mathematical certainty. I am better than you are at this type of Pong or that type of Pong. Judging is gone, instead the powerful and all knowing brain of the VCS renders instant judgment. So what are we waiting for?
Strip off your clothes, slather on some olive oil, pick up your paddle (very difficult to handle when oily) and start practicing because if I have my way, the very next games will not be in London, but in the TV room at my Mom’s house. The opening ceremonies will consist of Hawaiian Punch and Fig Newtons and if any of your greased up Pong-thletes spills on our new carpet, you are disqualified.
No medals will be given out, but instead you will choose from special treats that I will be picking up at the Shoprite. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I am thinking large soft pretzels and Shasta cola.
Because Video Olympics allows me to replace the Olympics AND is actually fun to play with 2 or more people (it can handle up to 4), I give it 4 out of 5 Pongs. 1 for each friend I plan on having one day.