So why my interest in Computer Space? As an owner I can assure anyone reading this, the game play sucks. It runs a lot like Asteroids but with only two flying saucers to shoot instead of flying rocks, it does somewhat pale in comparison. To their credit, I will concede those saucers are very good at hitting me; for a pair of old arcade bad guys, their aim has not wavered due to old age.

And I think that explains my interest in this machine, its age. I mean, this was the first. The original. This is where it all started from. These spaceships have been duking it out across this starfield for decades.

I am a huge fan of arcade games. I grew up at just the right time to be caught up in the early 80ís golden era for video games. I have recently harkened back to those heady days by availing myself of the many downloadable programs that allow me to replay the classic games of old. When I was assembling my MAME machine, I intended it to run every game I enjoyed as a kid. In addition to the usual titles Iím sure everyone has, I bought the Atariís Greatest Hits collection for its fantastic Pong simulation (and the interviews with Nolan Bushnell, heck those alone are worth the purchase price) and I even bought the Dragonís Lair DVD set in order to enjoy the laserdisc experience again.

And then one day I remembered that funky 70ís machine, the one with the groovy fiberglass cabinet, and it occurred to me that was the one game my machine was missing. I hopped on the net and searched around to find an emulator.

I was thrilled at the fascinating history behind this machine, most of which I have posted in the History section, but I was also greatly disappointed to read that there is no emulation of Computer Space. None. And why? Because there are no ROMs in this machine, it is made completely of discrete components. Ok well I thought surely someone has made a simulation if not an emulation so I began searching for such a thing on the net. Nothing.

This seemed to me a gross omission. I mean, there are a million Pongs out there of every description, but not a single Computer Space? Yes I admit Pong was a much better game and no doubt makes a fun little project for first-time programmers, but still! Iíve seen links to Java-run simulations of Computer Spaceís ancestor Space War (though I confess not any links that work). If someone is going to make Space War and Pong, shouldnít they make the groovy machine that appeared between them?

Clearly my opinion is not shared in the gaming community because after years of searching for it, I found no such file anywhere online.

I suspect this only intensified my interest in Computer Space more. Now it was held in even higher regard. Now it was considered the Holy Grail of arcade machines. I simply had to possess one.

When I saw a great condition red unit come up on eBay, I placed my bid, and after much nail-biting and holding of breath, won the auction. Bringing this beauty home, I fired it up and gazed in wonder at its banal simplicity.

After adjusting to the controls (I had to reverse the way I play Asteroids in order to get the hang of it) I still got my butt kicked by the saucers. It is only now that I have practiced a few dozen times or so that I can hold my own against them.

.......... Of course, you realize I am missing something, right?

I mean, yes I have Computer Space now, and with my other machine I have every other video game imaginable. But, to really make my collection complete, I really ought to have a Pong.