My husband and I love video games. We have several consoles, PC, handhelds, etc., but our big love is classic gaming – not just NES and Super NES, but Atari (though we don’t own one), and arcade and pinball machines. Our kitchen is half functional food predatory area and laundry room and half private coin op-stravaganza.
In addition to my 1959 Coke machine (a birthday gift a few years back), a 1993 Doctor Who 30th Anniversary Pinball Machine, and 1983 Atari Star Wars Tie Fighter, we have one of those 60+ game uprights. My husband really wanted Galaga, but we looked into these for variety, and I insisted that it include Mr. Do!
That’s today’s sketch: the logo for Mr. Do!
1 – I know I can do the logo. We have a dry erase board with high scores of ourselves, our friends, and world records, and I drew the logos of the games we keep track of.
2 – Although I acknowledge the awesomeness of classics like Donkey King and PacMan, they’re not among my favorites, and I’m not very good at them.
3- This game is close to my heart. It looks a lot like DigDug, with an 8bit clown with a ball. To clear levels (while being chased by these odd red monsters, occasionally faster blue monsters with letters you can collect for an extra life), you can collect cherries, or kill all the monsters, or collect enough letters to spell “Extra.” You can throw the ball once for a kill but have to catch it in order to throw it again. You move faster in “cleared” areas. That’s about the best I can explain it.
Now, here’s why I love it, and why I chose the above title. When I was a kid (8 or 9 years old), my appendix burst. We lived in a teeny tiny town about an hour from the state capital. There was a clinic where we loved, but I don’t think it was very good. Even though we had a family doctor in Des Moines, for whatever reason, my parents were using this clinic. The doctor there made a couple of different diagnoses, and put me on antibiotics, but didn’t say it was appendicitis until I had survived a week with it burst. Had I not been rushed for emergency surgery in Des Moines when I was, I would not have survived.
I spent two and a half weeks in the hospital. My parents visited every day on their lunch hours and after work. (They both worked in the capitol) Within a week (ish) I felt well enough to take advantage of cable TV when we only had four channels at home (Hello, Car 54 Where Are You?, The Price is Right, and The Honeymooners, plus all the cartoons!!) and the “play rooms.” One playroom was OK. It had a lot of games and space, some books, etc., but I got pretty bored there. It also wasn’t on the same floor, which was more than i was willing to travel.. They did let me take the Monopoly game to my room and a nurse or intern played with me one day, but we never finished.
It was really important to the staff that i get up and walk whenever I could, so I did a lot of loops around the two nurses stations. That’s when I discovered another room with a bunch of toys, etc. in it, but I think it was more of a storage area. It was smaller, there wasn’t any furniture, and it wasn’t very neat. But it had an arcade game: Mr. Do! It was right across from where I could get free frosty malts (which I never did – I liked free things even back then but I just didn’t want/like them much. Dad usually wold take them, but I don’t think he was really supposed to.).
They actually kept this room locked, but unless it was a stupid hour of the day, they pretty much let me in whenever. At one point, they stopped locking it, unless someone new was working on the floor, then it would get (temporarily) re-locked.
This became a new way for my dad and I to bond. We were frustrated at first, because we (especially I) played all the time and were getting quite good, but we couldn’t get on the high scores.
So we unplugged it.
We easily racked up all the top scores, but soon I had all of Dad’s scores knocked off. He’d rally, and I think he had some on when I was finally released.
I miss those days, despite nearly dying. I enjoy the game, but I loved it even more playing against my dad in that tiny unused room in the hospital. I know they have remodeled and renovated and moved things around, and I know that probably means they no longer even have the arcade machine. And I don’t like to think about that. I want to remember it exactly as it was.