3 min read

If I Won The Lottery, I'd Open An Atari Store

Just a piece of prose, tipping my hand to my true allegiance in the world of video games.

If I won the lottery, I mean like $100,000,000 lottery, I would open an Atari Store.

It would be in some kind of upscale mall or location like Downtown Disney, Universal City Walk, The Beverly Center, The Grove, downtown San Francisco or Times Square

The store would act just like everything from Atari was still available brand new, and was just recently released.

I'd buy-up as many mint-condition products as possible, and they would sell for a premium.  If they did not sell, so what?  I won the $100,000,000 lottery.

I'd also try to get some of the original hardware and games re-manufactured, to classic specifications, using classic technology. Why?  Just because I could.

If I owned an Atari store I would commission new games for old systems to be programmed by the original programmers who made them the first time around.

I'd also set-up new Atari systems and let anyone play them when they came in.  Atari consoles, Atari computers, Atari arcade games, and even an Atari pinball machine or two.

I'd hire a bunch of young people wearing Atari t-shirts, and they would be called "Nerds".  "Atari Nerds".  They could answer all your Atari questions.

I would open a dark ride themed to Atari in the back of the store.  You would enter a spinning hot tub and dodge venture capitalists,  Warner executives, patent lawsuits, and finally, escape the crash of video game industry and make it out alive.

If I owned an Atari store, I'd work there full time.  I'd sit behind my desk, a wood grained console tube TV with a 2600 playing Combat! attached.

I would not answer any questions, that's what the nerds would be for.  Instead, I'd work behind my desk.  I'd be programming all day long, building a magnum opus 8-bit-style RPG that would never be finished.

Why would it never be finished?  Because I won the $100,000,000 lottery, and I owned an Atari store with games and a dark ride dedicated to Atari.

If there were any profits from my Atari store I'd use them to form a new company: Dangerous Playgrounds For Dangerous Kids.

We would design playgrounds filled with 70's style playground equipment made with metal bars, ropes, tires, and sand.   The play equipment would spin, shake, swing and move in seemingly dangerous ways.

There would be giant sand hills, concrete tunnels, merry-go-rounds, multiple tire swings connected with chains and bolts into a giant circle, drop off metal slides with metal rollers, and rockets to climb 50 feet in the air.  All the parents would be far away, sitting on the benches, knitting or smoking and reading books or newspapers.

You could play on our playgrounds without sunscreen, and with or without shoes.  Food with granulated sugar, gluten, lactose, peanuts and red dye #5, would be allowed, no questions asked. 

Each playground would have areas to ride big wheels and to play games like  tag, ditch-em, socco, hand-ball, butts-up, kick the can, and dodge-ball.  Grocery store cap gun, plastic disc, and plastic pellet gun arenas would be available, but they would be so popular you'd need reservations.

There would be street lights on the playgrounds.  When they came-on, it would be time for everyone to go home.

Home to play Atari.


Steve Fulton is Vice President Of Software Development for Producto Studios, an independent development house in Redono Beach, California specializing in animation, games, e-learning, Flash,  HTML5, web and mobile. 

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