Atari Celebrates 40th Anniversary, Reminds Us We're Getting Old

Kids today complaining of the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy, bug patches, and game delays should take a moment to appreciate how good they really have it, and where some of us old fogies (by young pup standards) first cut our teeth. For me, it was the Atari 2600 with games like Pitfall (totally rad for its day) and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (still considered by many as the worst game of all time). Unhappy with the way Mass Effect 3 ended? Trying avoiding pixel hungry dragons in Adventure, only to be rewarded with a flashing screen.

While you're thinking about how good you really have it, tip a glass of whatever it is your drinking to Atari in celebration of its 40th anniversary. One of the most recognizable brands in game history, Atari also helped shaped the gamecentric landscape that exists today.

"Over its 40 years of operation, Atari has become one of the most iconic and recognized brands around the world, responsible for mainstreaming video games with blockbuster franchises including Asteroids, Breakout, and Centipede," said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. "Today, we aim to keep the tradition alive through new and creative development efforts based on what made us great in our early days – offering our devoted and growing fan base fun but challenging games on mobile and online platforms."

In celebration of its 40th birthday, Atari is kicking off a full year of events and programs, starting with a "40 Giveaways in 4 Days" sweepstakes in which fans of the franchise can visit the company's Facebook page for a chance to win free swag.

Atari also released a neat infographic detailing "40 Years of Fun!" if you're interested in taking a nostalgic stroll down memory lane.