Hey fellow older mutants! What was the first video game in your home?


Back on the “RIP Sears” thread. someone pointed out their first game was a Sears-branded video game console. I recall having something similar, so I did some digging. It turns out, the first video game I ever had was not from Sears, but from Radio Shack.


So this makes me wonder: what other ancient devices do you still remember?


Some of us didn’t get to have fun as kids…

More seriously:

We didn’t have video games in that sense in our house. The closest I came was one of these:


a magnavox odyssey 2 i bought after a summer job in a steel mill working at double the minimum wage. i still have it and it still works.


My parents were hardcore anti-television. Until about 1985, the only television in the house was a 12” black and white set that just about managed to pick up PBS. My dad built a decoder antenna so that he could pirate HBO (yes Virginia, HBO used to be an encrypted broadcast), and record the almost watchable results on his Betamax. I think he still has the tapes somewhere.

When the Atari debuted, they were opposed to that too, though for some reason we had one of the original Pong consoles in the garage. I convinced my dad to buy a Sinclair ZX81 kit and we built it together.

I was fascinated by the illusion of depth in games like Night Driver so I taught myself to program (basic; then assembly, sort of) and spent the early eighties making black rectangles march across our crappy television.

My parents held on to their Luddism as long as they could. Around the time my younger brother reached middle school, they finally broke. They got cable and bought a Nintendo and a color television. It was too late for me by then; I had discovered the joys of marijuana, being ignored by girls, and making awful noises on a yard sale guitar.

With all that character building during my formative years, you’d think I would have turned out better.



Dad brought home a Pong console when I was 4.


Do you remember the “Speak and Spell” machine? You could make that bad boy swear :smirk:


Well, I’m not sure how much older you mean by older, but the first video games were all on the first computer we had: An IBM PS/2 with the big orange switch.

Some of the games I remember best:





Edit: I also realized in looking stuff up that my version of Gorillas did not look the same as the images. It’s dawning on me that my dad whipped up his own version with some differences because he learned to program QBasic and what I played was his clone. So technically, no one outside my family has ever played my version of Gorillas.


My parents bought an Atari 2600 way back in 78/79. My aunt and uncle bought me an intellivision as well. The next upgrade was a Sega Genesis from my parents, and then I bought myself a used NES. After that it was all self purchased items: Panasonic 3DO (still my favorite console ever), Atari Jaguar, Playstation 1.

First console my spouse and I bought for our home was an N64 in the late 90’s. Then a PS2, Wii, XBox 360, and now we have 2 XBones and 1 Switch.

Seriously…this one is still my favorite console:

The game lineup was what did it for me. I loved so many of these titles: Deathkeep, Doom, Dragon’s Lair, Flashback, Guardian War, Hell, Myst, Road Rash, Pebble Beach, Psychic Detective, Primal Rage, the Shockwave series, Star Control, and my second favorite video game of all time…Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger (the original Legend of Zelda will always be #1).


A ZX Spectrum, probably playing Survival, Tapper or Chess.

It was defective, as were the four or five replacement ZX Spectrums (Sinclair’s quality control was never good and the bottom fell out in 1984 or so), and my parents got a refund and bought the Amstrad CPC, a better 8-bit, instead. The first game I really got to play at home, then, would have been the free ones it came with:

Roland On The Ropes
Animal Vegetable Mineral
Oh Mummy
Harrier Attack
The Galactic Plague
Roland In The Caves
Sultan’s Maze
Fruit Machine
Timeman One


I was just going to say that we never had such things on our home, but a friend in middle school who lived in the same building had Pong and we used to play all the time.



Only from films. ET would be my main reference point for those. I never had one or knew anyone who did. They were for Americans.

My cousins had one of those. I remember trying to play Daley Thompsons’ Decathlon and some ninja fighting game that I think may have been simply called Ninja both of which I was terrible at.

Pah. I had to laboriously type up code from a BASIC magazine to be able to play Pong on our first actual computer, a BBC Model B.

And if you tell the young folk of today that, they won’t believe you.


It would be the Colecovision, meaning Donkey Kong. (I think the somewhat unusual choice had something to do with the availability of the ADAM computer.)

The school computer labs were stocked with the Apple ][ at the time, and my family knew some people with a TI-99/4a. I don’t think I ever saw a 2600 for myself until much later in life.


The generic RadioShack version of Pong. Actually was fun, for the day.


That’s just it, in 1977 it was a steal, and kept us kids occupied on the old black and white in the hobby room (think half den, half sewing stuff). Oh, it was cheap and died before I bought my Commodore 64 from lawnmowing money, but it was my first.


Define “older.



Also the Atari 2600.


We had the Odyssey and we loved it. But we couldn’t swap games with the other kids because everybody else had an Atari.

My brother’s favorite game was this one:


My family had Heathkit’s Pong-alike console, the GD-1380. It had the usual ping-pong/hockey/squash games, and a target-shooter game with a light gun. It was hooked to a Heathkit GR-2000 TV set, which, with its pushbutton tuning and on-screen time/channel display, seemed so futuristic in its day.

The light gun looked suspiciously like the classic Heathkit timing light - it used the exact same housing.