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Author Topic: A very, very, very special video for me....  (Read 7777 times)
Level42
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« on: June 26, 2013, 07:36:12 PM »


I've been waiting to share this story with you guys for at least a couple of months now and I'm very glad I finally can !


Step into my time-machine and I will take you back to the late summer of 1983.

Atari has not really crashed yet in Europe and is about at the peak of it's existence. My brother and I own a 2600 and it was THE machine to have then.

I read somewhere that Atari was organizing videogame Championships. Nation wide, but also world-wide. The game they choose that year was Centipede.
There was a "promotion truck" going through the Netherlands where you could come to and try to qualify for the final in.......Amsterdam.


I thought, why not give it a try, so I rented the cartridge exactly one week (the standard rental period) before the truck would be coming the "Zuiderpark" (South Park, LOL) in Rotterdam. I played about all that saturday at home, brought back the cartridge and headed to the park...(see the newspaper article I found back on-line Smiley)


There were loads of people there who were "just around" and just had a play and thus were without any serious chance.

After playing a while, a couple of people started to watch me play, and after some time there were about 20/25 people around me while playing..

I ended up with a good enough score (don't ask...don't remember), at least the guys who were running the show were telling me that I would definitely make it to the finals, so I had to fill out a form with all my details and they would contact me.

However, until about 1 week before the finals on september the 3rd, they had not contacted me, so I thought I didn't make it. Then I got a phone call. Someone from Atari, I didn't even hear the ladies name, this was someone from Atari calling !!!!

She explained that I ranked 26th in the under 18 category (ahhhh....) and they allowed 25 finalists to come over, but 1 guy couldn't make it and if I wanted to take his place.

YOU BET MADAM !!! So I rushed out to rent the cartridge again (did I mention I HATED Centipede on the 2600 ? The way they had tried to recreate the motion of the track-ball SUCKED IMHO...but hey, I didn't have a choice.

So there I was practicing about all of my spare time again....

My parents and I drove up to Amsterdam (which was something relatively far away for me in those days). I always thought the location was the Hilton Hotel, but my dad recently told me it was the Okura Hotel instead... I'll never forget that Atari paid for the travel costs to my dad (who already had a company car back then, but hey, Atari was richer than we were Wink).

So there were 50 contestants, 25 over and 25 under 18 years old and I didn't have that high hopes. Atari had hired Ron Brandsteder, the most famous TV host in those days in The Netherlands to "talk everything together"....

I don't remember all the details but in the end I made it to the last 5 guys surviving. In that final round, I reached the 4th place....which meant JUST no spot on the "podium"...and no special prices. What we did get was a certificate with the final score, a nice light blue Atari sports bags filled with promo goodies like a Centipede shirt, a Pac Man frisbee etc.

Well it was a great day and a lot of fun.



Something that I clearly remembered was seeing a proper FILM camera at the event. Now, even in those days, TV was already made with video camera's even on location mostly. So somehow (maybe I'd seen the logo) I figured that this crew was from the Dutch Polygoon Journaal.

The Polygoon Journal was the Dutch "news" program for the cinema's. Back in the 40's, 50's and 60's when people didn't have TVs, these kind of "Journals" were the main source of seeing news from all over the world.

The Polygoon lasted until the early 80s, so they were really already in their last days. I do remember seeing those journals still when going to a movie as a kid though. (yes, yes I'm old).

Naturally, because of the TV, the focus of the Polygoon items had shifted to more "general"  and less "recent" events. In those last days, they also tried to earn money to stay afloat, so I guess Atari asked them to do a journal about computers/computer games and of course paid for it.

I never saw the finished item BITD. You had to be "lucky" to get to see a Polygoon journaal if you went to a movie....


Now we step back in the time machine again and we fast forward to......I think 2009/2010 or so when I first met Pieter (Gyruss) on/through this wonderful forum....

From the first moment I learned that he worked for Beeld & Geluid, I bugged him about this material. I had been searching the indexes of the archives before but it never came up. You see, Beeld & Geluid had become the owner of all the Polygoon material so I figured it should be there.

Pieter searched for a couple of years I think (not constantly of course) but nothing ever came up. Until a couple of months ago, when he sent me a text message saying "I found it !".....

They had discovered another lot of material from Polygoon and it was in there. The quality of the material was still great. I didn't think I would be on the material because I knew I hadn't been filmed (well not as the main subject).

Of course I was very very exited to see it for the very first time after so many years. Only when a "full res" scan of the material was done and Pieter posted it to me, I suddenly found out that I _was_ on the material, even only for a second or two and I could only recognize myself because of the way I was sitting and at what position. I did clearly recognize my mum and dad very close to me so I was positive it was me.

Now this material has become one of the promotion videos for the Retro Game Experience, so it is now viewable for everyone right here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nV2-8qvdzw8


Please enjoy and THANK YOU PIETER !!!!!!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 07:46:19 PM by Level42 » Logged

ataritoobin
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 07:46:09 PM »

 Space Ace Space Ace Space Ace

Truly awesome!
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eldiau
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 09:13:31 PM »

Nice story Level42!  Wink
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DarthNuno
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 09:46:41 PM »

Damn! Video like this are priceless!  Space Ace Space Ace Space Ace
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Etienne MacGyver
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 10:23:05 PM »

I was also waiting for this info to be published.

ofcourse its great to see that Andre is in there, but what even more surprised me was that the winner "Peter in het Groen" was on there.

He was my collegue in my previous job, and he had told me about this, but i never really cared back then.

it was a real surprise to see him in this video !  Grin

I'll try to contact him and send him the link of the video.
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Level42
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 10:30:59 PM »

For those who (amazingly !) missed me  Grin :



* Schermafbeelding 2013-05-09 om 01.21.27.png (61.56 KB, 158x230 - viewed 688 times.)

* Schermafbeelding 2013-05-09 om 01.22.30.png (156.52 KB, 278x354 - viewed 686 times.)
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Level42
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 11:39:14 PM »



Results of the World finals in Munich...
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Q*ris
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 07:17:30 AM »

Magical story and incredible coincidences!!!!!
Let me read it again, thanks to all the details, it makes me feel like I was there too  Wink
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Luigi
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 08:06:16 AM »

Great story, André!! Wish I had been part of something like that BITD...


The guy on the right at 0:41 in the video...when I see him holding the stick I want to slap in his face 'gimme that stick you moron'  Grin
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 08:33:36 AM by Luigi » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 10:03:00 AM »

Hi André,

A very nice story and interesting footage. Great That Pieter found it back. I remember seesing this before long time ago when I was still a boy and dreaming about my own computer..... I had to wait a long time Sad

I love this story telling on this forum.

Great
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Ronald Reagan
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 12:33:51 PM »

yeah its a good story Andre with nice newspaper articles. Too bad you didnt finish third
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 12:44:30 PM »


Great story.
 
Well, I can remember the Atari truck being at the Belgian coast too.
Not sure it was Centipede playing that year but the truck had a lot of succes. I remember waiting for a long time to play a 2600. :-)
That same year I got a 2600 as a birthday gift.
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 03:32:54 PM »

You're welcome André, it felt great to have finally located the footage.

During the event we will show much more similar stuff, a big part of it will be about arcades.
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gyruss
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2013, 07:21:09 PM »

posted the video on the dutch video sharing site Dumpert, 2230 views in 50 minutes.  Grin

http://www.dumpert.nl/mediabase/6550816/2befe6c1/atari_kampioenschappen_in_1983.html
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Etienne MacGyver
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2013, 08:06:07 PM »

thats cool !
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