Today is National Video Game Day. Yes, they have a day for everything. This is one of those “holidays” that falls on the exact day, no matter what day of the week it falls on. Lucky, lucky! It falls on a day off of school.

Given the opportunity, my son would play video games all day long. He is a natural. He can pick up a controller from any game system and any game and within a few minutes, he is an expert. My girls are pretty good at it, too, but they don’t love it like he does. On the rare occasion that they ask me to play with them, I have to admit, I suck. It wasn’t always like that. I used to be a pretty competitive player.

I am from the Atari generation. We played with joysticks that were amazingly unbreakable. Our graphics were pathetic compared to today’s games. My favorite game was River Raid. You were a plane that shot down other planes, helicopters, boats, bridges, etc. while flying down the river. You also had to refuel along the way. My dad bought the game for himself, but we played it more than he did. I got so good at it that I could even beat people while I played with my feet. (Strange kid, I know).

A few years ago I bought my husband the Atari Flashback Plug and Play. It is similar to the old game system, joysticks and all. It comes preloaded with 40 games, like Centipede, Missile Command, Pitfall, and of course, River Raid. It was a nice blast from the past for us, but the kids thought it was lame. After they left the room, we took turns talking about which level we got to and fighting over who got to pick the next game. It sounded a lot like my son playing video games with his friends.

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