I know a lot of you have memories of your mom surprising you for the holidays or your birthday with a game or, better yet, a console, or a birthday party at the local arcade or mini-golf. That's one of the best things about moms, when you're a kid; when they come out of nowhere, without a word of begging, pleading or conversation, with the coolest, bestest, most non-Mom thing ever in the world.

My brother and I both have an elephant's memory. We often astound our parents with perfect recall of years, dates, things said going back 25 years or more. I know Pac-Man was the only game that ever really amused my mother. But sitting here, racking my brain, I cannot ever recall her playing a video game.


Mom is not some prude or dowdy matron; she is a young, successful, athletic woman for having sons aged 34 and 36. By the time video games were fully on the scene in my childhood, my brother and I had bicycles and paper routes, and thus the means to get to local arcades or to pay for Atari cartridges

But by then, Mom really didn't need to. Because she singlehandedly brought video games into my world.

Illustration for article titled Happy Mothers Day

The day was July 20, 1981. Dad's birthday. Mom herself heard about this "Atari Video Computer System" and trucked downtown to the Brendle's department store to buy one for him. And I mean it was the Atari 2600, with the wood paneling and chrome switches. It retailed for $199 in 1981. And she bought Space Invaders on top of that.


Dad unboxed it, clapped his hands and said "Hot damn!" He hooked up the RF switcher, plugged "Combat" in the slot, whammed on the old Zenith a couple of times to get a clear signal and then handed the joysticks to me and Fletch. Funny, I don't have much recollection of Dad playing video games either.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you very much. And to everyone reading Kotaku, Happy Mother's Day to your mothers, too.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter