I’m a big fan of computer games starting with “A maze of twisty passages all alike” (Colossal Cave) right through the fantastic Wii games which actually get people exercising.
But, although I do most of my gaming with Wii on an HD TV screen these days, I also like to run through some of the classic arcade games just for the heck of it and to remind myself what computer gaming was like back when I wrote my first game reviews (which predated the invention of the PC or MS-DOS.)
One nice site is
http://www.classicgamesarcade.com/ where you play for free and without even needing to register.
Space Invaders is ONLY the beginning, there is even a version of Atari’s Pong.
There is a delay between games for a brief commercial but since I only play a game or two at a session I gladly accept that to avoid the inconvenience of hooking up an old Tandy Color Computer or another of my relics to play the original.
http://www.freearcade.com/ is another free site with a wide selection of games including text adventures from the real dark ages of computing when graphics consisted of, well, nothing!
For a real blast from the past check out Adventure in Java format at http://www.freearcade.com/Zplet.jav/Advent.html.
“At End OF Road “You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.”
Key in “Enter” and you are off exploring – you might want to sketch out a rough map on paper (remember what paper and pencil are?)
Share this with your kids, I would view it as a good test of whether they will make a career of computers, or just use them.
As my father would have said, “Out shoveling show at dawn, walking five miles to school…”
(Oh yes, I checked, his school was a mile away from his home and that was in the small town of Mahaffey, PA where he walked with other kids, I actually had to walk almost as far alone through snow to my bus stop over a covered bridge back in the late 50’s.)
But nostalgia is wasted on the young, or would be if they could feel it.
Online arcade games or text adventures are rightfully for the grey haired nerd or hacker and the price is right so check them out! Just don’t tell the kids under 50 how much fun the old games really were – next thing they’ll want to borrow the Trans Am.