I got the Art of Atari book as a present. It’s great fun.
Anyone heard of this old goodie? It was written 30-40 years ago and is about a sociologist who really gets into Breakout. Like, really.
Fifty hours, a good five hours a day for ten days, in the afternoon, the evening, at three o’clock in the morning, more time on these five shots than I’d so far spent altogether. When I wasn’t at the TV, I was practicing the sequence in my imagination, walking down the street, sitting in a cafe twirling a salt shaker, looking up during dinner in a Japanese restaurant at a bamboo and rice paper trellis with Breakout-like rectangles on the ceiling. Everytime I tried to hold to the conviction there wasn’t any point perfecting something I already knew how to do perfectly well, there was the TV screen, now permanently on, inviting me to prove it. The leftovers of each round just stayed there, going through those endless color variations they’d programmed on the cartridge to keep the tube from going bad, beckoning me like the needle beckons a junkie. The only way not to practice was to leave the house. Otherwise it was like breaking a chocolate habit in Hershey, Pennsylvania, giving up
booze on New Year’s Eve.
It goes on like that, for 150 pages.