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In the early 1980's Atari wasn't just a corporation making video games to many; it was a cultural symbol of the 1980's as undeniable as Garbage Pail kids, or Star Wars. There were toys such as transformers, Masters of the Universe, Gi Joe, and Star Wars and some children played with a little of each. But everyone had an Atari 2600. During that era games weren't a solitary thing as much as they are often today. People competed to get the highest scores or reach the farthest level in games. Siblings competed against each other in the game Combat with various board types that one person always seemed to be better at than the other. Two Player games of the game Atlantis brought teamwork into the fray as shots had to be aimed in unison correctly or computer airplanes would wipe out the city on the ground one piece at a time. The Atari 2600 had competitors of course but even the coleco systems games could be played on it via an adapater. Games were cheaper then and rich and poor alike enjoyed the thrills of video game based combat. Everyone read or at least glanced at the corny Atari Force mini comics that came with many Atari 2600 games. Games were found in stores and not read about as much in magazines as there were not as many publications dedicated to video games in the 1980's as there are today. Atari was not just a product of the 80's, in many ways it was the 80's. It was a time of simpler days when game quality wasn't based on sprites or Megabytes, or even on graphics or apperance; rather the playability and fun factor was the only test of quality that counted.


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