Christmas Bytes

The Sears Video ArcadeOne Christmas morning some 30-odd years ago my Father snapped this photograph on his Sears-branded Pentax SLR as my brother unwrapped a Sears-branded Atari 2600 known as the Sears Video Arcade. In between my brother and me is the box for a small, portable, black-and-white TV that my Dad bought to use with the Atari. He didn’t want us hogging up the big color console playing Asteroids or possibly burning a ghost image of one of the games into the screen. It was a good decision. We played it to death!

About 4 years ago I scanned the print and uploaded it to my Flickr account and let it bounce around the internet. It got a decent amount of traffic being that there are a lot of Atari 2600 aficionados out there!

Earlier this summer Brett Neveu of Wild Mouse Films asked if he could use the photo above for a Kickstarter campaign to finance a film which was titled Atari Christmas at the time. Emails went back and forth. He sent me the script which is a lot of fun, and I said, “Sure. Why not?”

Earlier this week the Kickstarter campaign for the film now titled Christmas Bytes went live.

Suddenly, I and the rest of the world is being bombarded by this Christmas morning image of Brian Bubonic and me!

It looks like a fun project, and I loved the script. It sort of feels like a John Hughes movie which will be a welcome respite from the explosions, CGI creatures and costumed crime-fighters currently glutting the multiplexes.

Sadly, our Dad, the house, the Sears Video Arcade, the black-and-white portable TV, and Brian’s and my hair are all gone. Christmas Bytes will bring that era of games measured in kilobytes back! I can’t wait to see the finished product!


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4 Responses to Christmas Bytes

  1. What a great Dad! I think I got socks that year. Congrats on being the poster children for a generation!

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    He was a great Dad, and he always had a knack of getting the coolest gifts for Christmas.

  3. Joe says:

    Yeah, Pong got old quick. The Atari was KING at least until the Commodore64 came along!
    Thanks for commenting, Bob!

  4. bob canada says:

    I remember asking for an Atari, but instead got the Sears Pong Console or whatever it was called. It was basically a video game console with 70 or 100 different variations of Pong hardwired into it. No cartridges. The Pong game was OK, but the variations were all pretty lame. One was the opposite of Pong in which you had a wall and moved a hole in the wall to try and trap the ball. The worst one was “Invisible Pong,” in which your paddle was invisible and would flash briefly if the ball ever hit it. Impossible to play.

    When I pointed out that it was not the console I asked for, my dad said this one was cheaper and “just as good.”

    I ended up buying my own Atari sometime later.

    And my dad also constantly worried about the games burning an image into the TV screen.

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