December 6th, 2016 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Atari, Atari 800, arcade, joystick, custom joystick, projects, dad, Nibbler, Asteroids, CX40, Atari 2600, Sanwa, Amazon
I've been playing around with making my own custom joysticks recently. Just yesterday, I built this Atari VCS-compatible unit you see above using a Sanwa arcade joystick assembly and two Sanwa arcade buttons, both of which are available on Amazon.
I also used an old Bud project box from my late father's things for the housing, some screw-in rubber feet on the base, a cord from a non-working Atari CX40 joystick, and some scrap steel inside to give the stick more weight and heft.
I built it mostly so I could have a 4-way only joystick for maze games on the Atari 800. (The Sanwa joystick is switchable between 4-way and 8-way upon installation.) The result is absolutely incredible either handheld or set on a table, and my high score in Nibbler has gone through the roof.
On this joystick, both buttons do the same thing, although my next Atari model will probably have three buttons — one for fire, one for up, and one for down so I can play Asteroids on the 800 like a pro.
October 11th, 2006 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Halloween, Asteroids, costume
I hereby declare: let this monstrosity be spread about the world as the scariest, strangest, and most disturbing Halloween costume ever conceived by mankind:
And "luckily" for me, it has to do with video games. I'm not quite sure what Atari's marketing department was thinking when they approved (or commissioned?) this costume. Oh wait; I know: money…
"Say, Charlie…we've got this great idea…kids can dress up as the game Asteroids for Halloween. Their face will look like a disfigured conglomeration of hollow rocks! We'll sell ten million units in three months — each family buying two or three costumes a piece because, quite frankly, we shit gold."
We can only hope that this costume didn't encourage anyone to shoot little kids in the face. Hmm…perhaps next Halloween I'll go as one of those big straw archery targets. But hey; the 1980s was a more innocent time.
These images are from the brilliantly entertaining site known as RetroCrush. They have a gallery of some other vintage video game-related costumes that's definitely worth checking out. Also, some years ago, the curator of RetroCrush compiled a list of the worst Halloween costumes of all time, and sensibly, this costume has a place on the list.
Coming Soon: Halloween costumes based on the racing asphalt in Pole Position, the inky blackness of Pong, and a realistic plastic mask of Donkey Kong's hairy ass.
After all, he is a donkey.