In the fall of 1982, I decided to make my first major electronics purchase: a ColecoVision home video game console. I was married with a child on the way, assumed I would be spending more time at home in the future and thought it was a great idea. I had grown up playing Pongat different friends’ houses, but never owned the console.

I had been going over to my cousin’s house to play his Atari VCS. Months earlier, he had been going on and on about this gaming system he had bought that was “so amazing” and that I “had to come over and check it out.” It was somewhat impressive, much better than Pong anyway, but my years after Pong were spent heavily in arcades like Pinball Wizard here in Des Moines, transitioning from pinball to videogames with titles like Death Race, Galaxian, Circus, Missile Command, Omega Race, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and of course, moreBreakout! Anyway, I knew video games, good video games, fun video games. His Atari, and his blocky, black and white stick-people, just didn’t give me the same thrill.

A few years later, when I started seeing commercials on TV about this new gaming system, I didn’t really pay it that much attention. When I finally did start paying attention to those com- mercials, I started getting a little excited. I still didn’t believe that a home gaming console could really look like the arcade machines I played so much. I think it was Children’s Palace where I saw an actual demo. I was totally blown away! Donkey Kong at home can look just like Donkey Kong at the arcade? If anyone could master bringing the real arcade experience to your home, it would have to be the Connecticut Leather Company!

Wait, what? The Connecticut Leather Company? Yeah,the (CO)necticut (LE)ather (CO)mpany. Well, theysounded like a company that probably… maybe… knows their way around home electronics. I went right out and earned $199.99 as fast I could. Not exactly sure what I was thinking with a first child on the way and all, but I was a full-time gas station attendant. Like I said, I was an “adult” and I was sure everything would be just fine. Besides, those cartridges were only $40 – $50, and if I budget correctly, I should be able to buy two a year. Most importantly, I could tell my cousin to stick his stick-figures. I have an arcade at my house now!

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