Saturday, December 18, 2010

Atari 2600 Arcade Sticks

Just because we don't have it listed on the site, doesn't mean we don't accept it as a trade-in. Case in point? These Atari 2600 'arcade sticks.' Around 30 years ago, some gamer with his state-of-the-art cartridge based Atari 2600 decided that he wanted to feel like he was at the arcade. This gamer, having at least a working knowledge of carpentry and other crafts, set out to create what can only be described as the first home arcade stick. 10 or 15 years afterwards, he dropped it off at our store and a few days ago, we unearthed them to be enjoyed once more.

Gorgeous, isn't it? While nothing more than a standard Atari 2600 Joystick set into a piece of wood with a bit of metal trimming, it serves the function of an arcade stick. The bottom half of the joystick juts out about half an inch, but the length of the piece of wood is balanced so it gently leans forward in perfect arcade orientation, providing a place to rest your hands when you hold the joystick.

The second one of these is much less impressive and much less comfortable to use, just because it's far too narrow. Perhaps it was intended to be balanced on the knees of the player as he sat on the couch, or maybe it was built for a child. However, you can't deny the ingenuity of the person who crafted these prototypes.