This is one post about three separate, but related list items. If you had a level of interest enough to read past the title I am sure you understand the subtle differences of the three. If not read on and become enlightened.
WILATU #54 - classic arcade games
You need to feed this thing quarters. You need to have peer pressure hovering over your shoulder. You need the distraction of noise from ten other games and players around you. You need that quick reaction of an industrial joystick/trackball and the dedicated processor speed that no ported game can match, no matter how good the console or PC.
I remember playing the Simpsons video game with my brother, his girlfriend at the time, and her little sister. We dropped about $20 into that thing but got all the way to the end and beat Mr. Burns. This is still a happy memory of mine and felt like a real accomplishment. Just like the sense of pride you get the first time you rip your buddy's skull and spine out in Mortal Kombat.
I will concur that the Donkey Kong arcade machine is probably the greatest video game ever made. Some of my personal favorites include Centipede, Frogger, and Joust. But when you get right down to it, I can still hear her calling my name.
WILATU #55 - Atari/Activision home video games
What do you mean you "beat the game"? Did you roll the high score over and it froze up? And when you refer to "saving a game" does that mean you kept it in the box and didn't touch it so you would still have a new game after you got bored with your old ones? I am also assuming that by "realistic graphics" you speak of characters like Pitfall Harry rendered in 4 colors and 32 pixels as opposed to the 4 pixel block that was your "guy" in Adventure.
Toggle switches and simulated wood grain help fuel the "best Christmas ever" for a large portion of Americans of a certain age. And the run on Pac-Man cartidges was considered unreal until Cabbage Patch Kids made that seem tame and civilized. But Cabbage Patch Kids were never adapted for Star Wars or rock legends Journey!
WILATU #77 - plaing with my Wii
I had bought a PS2 after they had been out a while, but before they redesigned them to be super slim. This was the first console I owned since my beloved 2600. I played Madden on it and Onimashu 1, 2, and 3. But after I got Activison, Namco, and Midway collections for it, it soon just became an emulator. After that it collected dust. Then it became Red's DVD player. When we were apart I donated to Children's Hospital and was hapy to live without video games for a while.
Then the Wii came along. This thing makes video games fun again. Sure, I have downloaded Pac-Man and Donkey Kong for it, but playing Super Mario Galaxy is just as fun. I have played Mario Kart online against anonymous strangers (I don't always come in last, but it is a fairly typical result.) And I am able to wield a light saber in a semi-realist manner, slicing down anyone in my path. I have also been able to replicate jamming with Interpol and R.E.M. all while sporting a two-foot tall green mohawk.
Hey, wait a minute...I'm off today. I have to go see if I can get the star from the hidden planet I found in the Melty-Molten Galaxy. Hold on Princess, I'm coming!