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Profile Atarian: Mark Androvich - The Atari Times

Profile Atarian: Mark Androvich

Now a hotshot writer!
by Mark Androvich

July 5, 2001
"[The 2600] kept me out of trouble, and sparked my interest in computers when I convinced my Dad to purchase an Atari XL computer a few years later."

The Gift That Keeps On Giving
I didn't actually ask for one. I knew it was too expensive and unreasonable to ask for, so I requested a Mattel hand-held football instead. My parents were fair to the extreme when it came to gifts. They always spent the same amount of money on my sister and I, down to the last penny. But, in 1979, I noted that the vast majority of presents under the tree were for her. Eventually, there remained only a single Mattel football-shaped box for me.

It wasn't football--it was Air Sea Battle for the 2600. It wasn't from my parents either--it was from my grandmother. "Perhaps she misunderstood what you asked for," my parents explained. It was hard to hide my disappointment, but then I noticed a small envelope still left under the tree. Inside was a card that read: "Look under our bed." My feet touched all of three steps on the way upstairs. There it was! An Atari 2600!

"We thought it would last longer than the football would," my Dad said. Truer words have never been spoken! That 2600 became a source of a lot of pleasure over the next few years. It kept me out of trouble, and sparked my interest in computers when I convinced my Dad to purchase an Atari XL computer a few years later. I also ended up buying every Atari videogame system ever made. While I never became a programmer or engineer, opting instead for law school, I continued to enjoy videogames into adulthood.

The Videogame Career
"How, then, did the Atari 2600 impact your career?" you are probably wondering. In my 20's, I started collecting old systems and games and frequently contributed reviews and articles to both fanzines and, later on, to Web sites. These writing experiences helped me to get a job as a freelance videogame reviewer for a couple of national magazines. Having put my legal career on hold, todayI review PlayStation /PS2 games for PSE2 magazine, and also write game strategy guides published by Prima. In the past few years I've had the chance to meet "heroes" from my youth.

Not baseball players or movie stars, but videogame programmers like David Crane, Howard Warshaw, Rob Fulop, and Ed Logg. I've also been able to relive fond childhood memories with hundreds of people all over the country who also grew up as part of the "Atari Generation." And, unbelievably, I've been able to get paid to do something I truly feel passionate about.

To think that I owe it all to that one magical Christmas present. Thanks again, Mom and Dad.

Reader Comments for Profile Atarian: Mark Androvich

Congratulations! by Bobby Lankford on 2008-05-15 09:26:39
Hey, Mark this is your old freind Bobby Lankford. We used to go to church together. I am glad you are doing sites and books about video games. Except for the violent ones like Grand Theft Auto and its sequels and others, I happen to like video games,too.

I did have over 2 decades ago a Mattel Intelevision game with several game sincluding Burger Time and Dungeons and Dragons, and later I had Nintendo with Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt plus I also had Mario 2 and also Wheel Of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Family Feud and Classic Concentration.

Nowadays on my PC, there's all kinds of games I play like Minewsweep and Spades and CD-Rom and downloadable PC versions of game shows like Wheel and Jeopardy! Those are fun ,Mark.

Keep up the good work in the video game field and with math teaching.

Best Wishes,
Bobby Lankford
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What is the greatest video game company of all time? (Hint: Atari.)