Technical difficulties be damned; the show must go on! We salvage a rough night with some casual conversation about our earliest gaming memories, pinball, Mega Man, and more. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Yeah, I Have Pac-Man, Let's Make Out" Spaeth.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Tim Spaeth

Tim Spaeth

Cleveland native Tim Spaeth grew up in a happy household – a household with a father whose major client happened to be an Atari games distributor. This led directly to Tim's first nickname: "The kid who got Atari games before anyone else." Indeed, he knew Pac-Man and E.T. were colossal bombs weeks before the rest of the world, and the resulting celebrity brought him great pleasure.

Through the years every aspect of Tim's life has been touched by gaming. He mastered typing thanks to Space Quest, honed his poker skills on The Sierra Network, and learned to hate after a particularly traumatic game of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Today, Tim lives in Chicago with his three kids and strives to find that perfect balance between family, career, and Warcraft. He enjoys broadcasting, martial arts, rock and roll, growing and shaving his beard, singing show tunes to the homeless, and losing at Mario Kart to his lovely, talented, and amazing girlfriend.

In late 2008, Tim became the producer and host of the GameCritics.com Podcast, and he's thrilled to be bringing GameCritics' unique editorial voice to a brand new medium.
Tim Spaeth

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9 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 43: Our Earliest Gaming Memories, and Sweet, Sweet Pinball"

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Vince
Guest
I was 5 or 6 when Dad brought home an Atari 2600. I don’t remember an arcade until being older by a few years, which was at the local mall. Xevious and Indian Jones Temple of Doom stole a fair amount of quarters from me. Now, the only place I know that has an arcade is Cedar Point, an amusement park (which, btw, you HAVE to visit if you are a fan of rollar coasters in the slightest). There are two arcades, actually. One is more like the old boardwalk arcades, and the other is more in the modern sense,… Read more »
RandomRob
Guest
I remember that game being in the legendary Basic Computer Games book by David Ahl. Hunt the Wumpus was based on a dodecahedron. each ‘room’ had 5 exits, you had to ‘catch’ the Wumpus before it caught you, by moving into it’s ‘room’ first. I played that on a Olivetti teletype computer. Note to youngsters: computer games used to be prohibited because it was a waste of paper! lol. I also have fond memories of Trek73, a Star Trek battle simulator that would use dialogue from the episodes. You could, for example, use the Corbomite bluff to scare off an… Read more »
Zeiram
Guest
I grew up in a rural area so I wasn’t exposed to Coin-Op machines until around the time I was in middle school, though the early consoles did reach us. My earliest video game memories would be of the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A which my parents bought when I was two or three years old. Most of the games that we owned were educational, with some entertainment games like Munch Man (a blatant Pac-Man clone) and Car Wars. Notably, I was absolutely terrified of Hunt the Wumpus, a labyrinth game involving luck and logic deduction (as one of the game’s loss… Read more »
Richard Naik
Guest

The arcade I frequented as a kid (mid-90s) at the shopping mall was always kind of the “kids who wanted to pretend to be badass” hangout. Then the real gang members started showing up, and everyone went home.

Now the place is like a ghost town It’s a very surreal experience walking in such a large building that used to be so vibrant. I could vaguely remember where all the cabinets I used to spend my allowance money on stood. A nostalgia trip is one thing, but recalling such vivid memories of your 9-year-old self is quite another.

RandomRob
Guest
yeah that was a magic morning- personally, I think my gramma probably dropped that 50 to get me out of her house for an afternoon, lol. Who knows? It seemed by the mid 80s where I lived, arcades were already getting pretty seedy, and places where kids were buying meth and whatnot. We did have a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in White Plains that had a nice arcade for some time. I remember playing Discs of Tron there, and Reactor and Space Harrier, Commando.. Space Ace.. that reminds me – they’re going to releasing Dragon’s Lair on PSN, soon. Looking… Read more »
Mike Bracken
Guest
Damn, Rob, that’s a great story. As a kid, that was like my ultimate fantasy. My parents would take us to the arcade every week while we were out running errands and we’d each get a dollar — which didn’t last long back in the days when Pac-Man and Berserk were king. I’d blow through that buck in no time and then look longingly at all the things I didn’t get to play and think to myself “when I grow up, I’m gonna come in here and blow a hundred bucks.” Unfortunately, by the time I could afford to do… Read more »
RandomRob
Guest

bore a striking resemblance to the Tron Joystick! And both games were like 4 games in one… coincidence?! I THINK NOT

Tim Spaeth
Guest

Rob — I’m impressed you had the presence of mind to conceal the $50 from your grandparents. Had I found $50 at age 8 I’d have shouted from the rooftops that I was rich beyond the dreams of avarice. At which point my parents would have taken the money and given it to the theater owners for the lost and found.

GORF! Loved that joystick: http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/GORF_joystick

RandomRob
Guest
I remember finding a 50$ on the sidewalk as I came out of a Disney Double feature (the Jungle Book & Unidentified Flying Oddball) in Scotsdale, AZ. I was maybe 8, and spending the week with my grandparents and against all reasonableness, I vowed to spend the entire 50$ at the arcade at the Diamonds shopping mall. The morning I went, the arcade was empty the entire time I was there. And I was all about Tailgunner, STUN runner, Vanguard, Crazy Climber (“Go for it!”), Gorf, Donkey Kong Jr., Jungle Hunt, Elevator action, Robotron, Reactor, Monaco GP, Lunar Lander…. oh… Read more »
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