Interton VC4000 – my first digital love

It must have been around 1982/83 that I first came in contact with video games. We visited a befriended family and while we kids were playing the nursery our dads gathered around the TV in the living room and started fiddling with a blackbox that looked like a very complicated machinery, with sticks and lots of buttons in a quite futuristic design. I recall all adults sitting round the telly which showed some kind of blocky horse race, when I came in to ask something.

A few weeks later, my father returned home, with big box under his arm. It was a brand new Interton VC4000 and I could not await playing it. Don’t know how about your family, but mine was lousy when it came to understanding technic and electronics and so touching the holy television and trying to find the right band, was a big undertaking. Dad went into the bedroom, where my parents had a tiny Grundig color TV and started to hook up the console. I constantly asked him when I may play, right to the point where he threw his slipper at me. Now, with my own kids, I know what it is like… 😉

Finally he got it working and we played the first game, which must have been cartridge No. 3 – “Ballspiele” (ballgames) and No.25 “Bowling”.

Given that those games cost around 80-90 German Marks – which was a lot, back than – my father gave “Weltrauminvasion” (Cart No.32) my mother for Christmas. She was obvisiously disturbed about the present and here I learned my first lesson about video games – moms don’t like them very much!

It was even on that console, that I experienced my fist glitch: Dad and me used to play this very “Weltrauminvasion” (a Space Invaders clone) for quite some time, writing down our Highscores on tiny post-its. One day, while I was playing, I nudged the console a bit and suddenly the enemy ships did not stop and turned on the right side of the screen… no… they went past it. We looked at each other gobsmacked, uncertain what to do. The sound of the moving aliens was still audible and just when I was about to hit the reset button, they came back in on the other side of the screen, as if nothing had happened. Finally, we noticed that the cartridge was not inserted right and was quite lose. The best part about it: the Score went to unbelievable heights and my dad threw away all the post-its that day!

Ahhh, and the man where we got infected in the first place turned out to be working or Commodore in Frankfurt and should later be instrumental in providing me and convincing my dad to buy a C64 and jus a few years later an Amiga 2000.

Last Weekend, someone was playing “Ballspiele” on our Interton in our Digital Retro Park and those sounds just gave me shivers. Here they…. badly sampled and converted to ringtones and WAVs. Let me know if you have experienced something similar and which games/sounds makes your skin hair stand up.

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