Warp Drive

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Nintendo Rhapsody (World 1: Far From Home Redux)

Nintendo Rhapsody is an ongoing story about how Nintendo, and video games in general, helped me through some of the harder times in my life. Each chapter, known as a 'world' in Nintendo Rhapsody, is rather self contained with introductions and conclusions.

World 11-1: Alone in the Dark

When I was eight years of age, I lived away from home five out of seven days a week for a period of six months in East Los Angeles at a facility known simply as The Diagnostic School. On Friday afternoons, I would be released to spend the weekends at home with family. Every Sunday at 5:00 PM, I would have to return to The Diagnostic School for the forthcoming week. Once there, I had to eat cafeteria food. I grew to loathe cafeteria food.

On those particular nights, however, I would often choose a bag of Skittles. I hated Skittles. I greatly preferred M&Ms, but Skittles was all that they seemed to have. I would sit on the far corner of the cafeteria, my back to the window, eating my bag of Skittles. All the while, dreading the days and week ahead. I peered out into the darkness of the night every so often.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Nintendo Rhapsody Notes

A place for my unrestrained thoughts and ideas on the subject of current and future Nintendo Rhapsody chapters.

World 0: The Schoolyard Menace (Prequel Chapter)

World 0-1: Terror of Orchard Dale Elementary
When I was three years of age, I attended preschool at the YMCA. I was accompanied by my maternal grandmother. She would often stay with me during the classes. I was already showing signs of an attention deficit. My preschool teacher, Mary Ray, seemed very concerned with my inability to remain still. She also raised concerns about my delayed motor skills. My grandmother also seemed worried. I would be entering elementary school at Orchard Dale soon enough. A possible recipe for disaster.
When thinking back upon Orchard Dale Elementary's computer lab, two words come to mind. Cold and sterile. It was devoid of the usual classroom writing utensils. Occupied instead by thinking machines. Machines that appeared to have one function only. The output of math equations to a monitor.
A few thoughts on my home life while attending Orchard Dale Elementary in 1989. I used to sit in my room listening to The Beach Boys and I would often compose my own music via a toy piano. One of the songs was entitled simply "Doors." It was just a rudimentary series of increasing and decreasing notes, but it was music to my ears at the time. The Atari 2600 Space Invaders portion of the chapter would be themed around Orson Welles' mischievous War of the Worlds radio play from 1938. I also used to play Dragster with my dad on the big oak television set in the living room. All I seem to remember of that game is burning out the race car over and over again.
My parents owned the original wood grain Atari 2600 game console, but when I was two or three years old, I disassembled it piece by piece. I was more than likely curious how the thing worked. Electronics were like magic to me back then. It was replaced by a second generation Atari 2600 in the years that followed. I still have that second generation console in storage to this day.

Atari 2600 Game Collection