I'm really glad I missed most of the all-conquering Atari 2600 era. Not because most of the games were unforgivably rubbish, but because they cost an absolute fortune. I clearly recall my chocolate-stained fingers pressed up against the glass display case in Woolies, looking longingly at games like Pitfall and Enduro, and crying inside at the £29.99 price tag. If I didn't eat sweets, catch a bus or read any comics for 10 weeks in a row I might be able to afford one if I was lucky. But ten weeks in the life of a nine-year-old is too long to comprehend, so I settled for the hand-me-down copy of Space Invaders, Night Driver and Centipede and wasted my money in the arcade instead. A far better idea, as it turned out.
So when people bleat like tortured lambs about shelling out for full priced games today, think of the poor children that lived in a shoebox in the middle of the road in 1982. Kids today. Don't know they're born. Tut.
Back in olden times when there were only three television channels, no remote controls and country-wide blackouts, buying every single game on this here Activision 'hits' package would have set you back well over a thousand pounds. Today, lucky lucky lucky souls that you are, the cost to you will be less than £20. That's the sort of price we like to pay for time travel.