Joysticks to the World

Gaming geek demos his latest creation . . . for the Atari 2600

Before Sony, Sega, and Nintendo ruled the video gaming world, Atari was self-immolating like a financial Hindenburg, burying the millions of unsold games in a desert landfill.

But before that, their legendary console, the Atari 2600, spawned a generation of passionate gamers. And a few still carry a torch for the gaming system, because nearly 15 years after the console officially gave up the ghost, hardcore hobbyists still program and sell new 2600 games.

As silly as it sounds, the challenge of working with the 2600’s antiquated technology – which demands clever resource management, minimalist game design, and pure gameplay, sans the fluff – is an irresistible challenge to many a home brewing programmer such as Samuel Deiter, who developed N.E.R.D.S., a sci-fi shoot ‘em up where players battle viruses in the human body.

Deiter, a Collins College graduate, visits his alma mater to talk about N.E.R.D.S. while allowing people to give the game a go.

Gaming starts at noon at the Phoenix campus. Deiter will also appear at the Tempe campus, 1140 South Priest Drive, at 1 p.m. the same day. Gaming there begins at 9 a.m.

 
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