The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I’m going to be honest. I’m not a huge fan of the Olympics.
I don’t necessarily have anything against them; I’m just not that interested in
watching the festivities on TV or following the medal count on the Internet.
I’m sure there are reasons why, but does it really matter? No, it probably
If the Olympics included events reminiscent of the old Roman
Coliseum and gladiator days, that might draw me in. Can you imagine an athlete
from each country being released into a large amphitheater with various weapons
scattered about. Last man standing wins the Gold.
I suppose if they added a videogame event, say Counterstrike
or Halo, and let the cyberathletes compete like they used to in the
Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), I would watch then, but probably just
that event. I could see the headline now, “Fatal1ty wins the gold for Team USA in Free for
I'm going to tell on myself a bit and reveal how big of geek
I really am. When I hear "Summer Olympics" or "Winter
Olympics", the first thing I think of is the many many years ago when I
was a wee lad and novice gamer playing the Olympic Games on my brother's
Commodore 64. It's amazing how complex and entertaining those games were for
their time. For those that aren't familiar with the Commodore 64 architecture,
you could actually use a 9 pin D-SUB controller (like from your Atari 500) on
your Commodore 64. Actually you could use two controllers. Nifty, eh?
Most of the events required a degree of rigorous movement on
your joystick (labeled joystick waggling by some) to run, jump, swim or
otherwise interact with your onscreen athlete. This movement often consisted of
rapid left to right motions and would often cause the rubber boot to separate
from the joystick. (Not sure that constitutes normal wear and tear).
Thankfully, it didn't impact the overall operation of the joystick except you
couldn't get as good of a grip on the cheezy white plastic stick underneath the
boot. (Let's keep it rated E for everyone and not make any "rigorous
movement, grip and stick" jokes...LOL).
Most of the games, or at least the ones we had and played,
were created in the mid to late 80s by Epyx and Accolade (both are now defunct
and have been absorbed by other companies).
Titles like Summer Games I and II, Winter Games, World Games
and California Games were instant classics with us and the source of many hours
Summer Games I posted events in pole vaulting, platform
diving, sprinting, gymnastics, freestyle swimming, skeet shooting and rowing. I
liked pole vaulting the best. Sprinting was good for wearing a hole in your
hand, or at the very least, a blister. The rest were just so-so
Summer Games II was a bit more interesting and offered the
triple jump, high jump, rowing, javelin throw, equestrian, fencing, kayaking
and cycling. I never could do the triple jump. I swear I faulted every time. If
you have ever watched the real event on TV you might understand why. It's a
timing thing. Fencing was pretty cool, but I think that was because it involved
a sword like device. Kayaking was also neat.
Winter Games didn't really improve on graphics or game play
over Summer Games I and II but at least it offered some new events that
included alpine skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, bobsled, figure skating, speed
skating, luge and freestyle skiing (or more appropriately, Hot Dogging). I
didn't like a few of the events because it was more of the same joystick
waggling, but freestyle skiing was pretty fun and my personal favorite event.
When World Games came on the scene, it really expanded the
previous editions with some unique and entertaining events, all of which were
somewhat enjoyable to compete in. The events included weightlifting (Russia),
slalom skiing (France), log rolling (Canada), cliff diving (Mexico), caber toss
(Scotland), bull riding (United States), barrel jumping (Germany) and sumo
Wrestling (Japan). I was a pro cliff diver.
California Games might have somewhat strayed from the
Olympic theme and been more comparable to the X-Games, but the events were the
best and the game was quite entertaining. You could compete in the half pipe,
roller skating, surfing, BMX, foot bag (also known as hacky sack), and the
flying disk (also known as Frisbee). With the exception of roller skating, all
the events were a load of fun and worth their weight in gold (or maybe silver).
Results of the classic Olympic video game event:
Gold - World Games
Silver - California
Bronze - Summer Games II
There is no boycotting the good old days of Olympic gaming.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think my spot at the top of the podium is ready,
just in time to hear my favorite song.
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