Atariteca Podcast: Atari 2600, Retrogames and more

Some time ago I was reminded of my Atari 2600 and what is now referred to as: Retrogaming. Moved by curiosity and a nostalgic spirit, I began searching online for something that would remind me of those early old video games. In doing so I came across Atariteca,a podcast that talks about Retrogaming and the planet Atari as few can.

Simone Guidi 
is the author of this hidden gem, which you can find on Spreaker and on major podcast platforms. Fascinated by both the grit and sprint that this podcast gives me with each listen, I decided to contact Simone to ask him a few questions.

All your followers know this, but for those of us who just met you…who is Simone Guidi?

Simone is a 49-year-old married man with an 11-year-old daughter. I live near Lucca, but in my life I have also had some interludes in Florence, Prato and even New York. Eventually, after all the wandering I returned here to Lucca, where I work and found a family. Let’s say I am one of the lucky ones who works close to home.

I work for a German multinational electrical equipment company; company found by accident. I was an electrical engineer who came out of the Amber courses.
My technical college had courses in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with in addition the course of:
Electrical Engineering Amber
(a mixture of the two).
To explain further, if electrotechnicians were called “wire peelers” and computer scientists were the “keystrokes,” we Amber electrotechnicians were called “keystrokes peelers.”
ché I was inclined for this kind of thing, for a period of my life I wandered aimlessly; so much so that I even ended up in New York for 6 months. I went there mainly for sentimental reasons, and ended up working in a restaurant to support myself. My New York period over, I returned to the fold. And thanks to theexplosion of theNewEconomy I was able to get a job as a technician for Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca.

I basically contributed to the technological expansion of those times, replacing fax machines with email in our branches. 😊

When did you decide to tell the story of Atari ?

I have always been an “Atarian.” The first machine that came into my house in 1984 was an Atari XL.
Having such a car in those years was like being a castaway on a desert island. I was surrounded by “Commodoreans,” “Spectrumists,” and detached at the back those with an MSX…well I was behind them all.
In any case, mine was a fascinating car. I always had in my eyes the advertisement, “Atari, Maybe!”

After Atari I switched to Amiga and eventually came PC, and that was the end of it….
But the flame returned by chance, when I was contacted via Facebook by Carlo Ambler “Atari Planet”
who at the time was trying to make a collection of Atari hardware. He contacted me because we exchanged games via mail when we were kids. Mindful of this he found a letter with my address and resumed contact, although I had no material to provide.

A little background, at the time I had a blog where I wrote articles on many topics from the 1980s, created under the suggestion of the publishing house with which I was publishing
my first book
. A way to increase my visibility…although I had nothing to say.

Anyway, out of curiosity I began a personal research on Retrogaming by coming across Retrogames Machine and immediately got in touch with them.
Emiliano Buttarelli, of the editorial staff, contacted me for collaboration. I think he had browsed my blog and appreciated my writing. But after some time my cooperation with them ended.
I stayed in touch with Emiliano with whom I used to have long NERD-themed chats on Skype. One day Emiliano suggested that I try to continue our chats by recording podcasts, which at that time were still unknown in Italy. As a result, the podcast “Cugini del terribile“.
This is how I became a Podcaster.

Preparing a podcast with the quality of Atariteca does not appear simple. Can you tell me how the preparation of an episode works?

I have to thank my archive, having written so much in my years as a blogger and editor I have a very important personal archive behind me.
So let’s say I have plenty of material that I can use.
I closed my personal blog last May. I closed it for a very simple reason, I got tired of seeing my articles copied and republished by other people on their sites. This made me not want to write at all. They copied me a lot of articles like the article about the dissing between the Rolling Stones and The Verve for Bitter Sweet Symphony.
Or the time I was copied on an article about Buckaroo Banzai, an unknown film in Italy.

Each time you have to report it only to see the article disappear quietly soon after. In any case, I use my archive as a starting point. I record the episode there all in one breath, creating the integral piece. That’s always where the second listen for editing starts, where I cut, arrange, and try to figure out where I might be adding a little sound, a reference to a movie or whatever. In fact, my post-production is done on the spot, based on what comes to my mind.


Your slogan is, “Atariteca The Retrogaming Blister that keeps you young.” Can you explain it to me?

It keeps you young because playing retrogames is like going back in time to when you were younger.
Most importantly, it keeps you young mentally, as in my case. I am someone who likes to investigate and tell the backstory of things, and all this work keeps my mind young.

The life of someone who cultivates this kind of hobby divides you between: day/work and evening/passion. How do you experience this duality?

I experience it just as if it were an undercover operation, a clandestine thing. I’m honestly a little ashamed to be a podcaster. Think about it for a second: 49-year-old man finding himself at night, alone, talking about Video Games from 40 years ago…it’s not really the news that everybody understands.

In an episode of Atariteca you interviewed your child, and in your work I seem to have caught: both your daughter’s voca and your wife’s voca. How do they live this passion of yours?

That my wife sees her husband as a bit of a fool. However, a fool contained within the four walls of the home. Which if you want is always better than fooling around away from home 😊. So in the economy of our relationship, I do things locked in a room and occasionally drag her in to record jingles. All this only after spending about 20 minutes convincing her of course. My daughter, meanwhile, happy to participate is enjoying herself. Although now growing up, a certain state of age-related shame is beginning to take over in her.

Let’s pretend that you are aboard Dr. Brown’s car and imagine that you are going back to 1980 as a visitor: if you could bring something back to you in your return to the present…what would you choose?

I think I would bring back a stereo and vinyl records. Stuff you can’t find with the same quality now.

Let’s talk a few seconds about this Nerd world. We both know that we nerds are not easy to please. Sometimes we are fussy to ill-tempered to always ready to challenge. Have you ever had problems with this kind of audience?

It’s a type of problem I’ve had in the past with written articles. It used to happen that they would write to me to specify something, but since I’ve been doing Atariteca no one has ever come forward for something like that.

Let’s talk about the Atariteca community, which I myself frequent. The most active are all people who, like you, do podcasts on the topic of retrogaming. Don’t you miss tickling the silent ones?

I miss it so much, however, I see that I still manage to reach a certain target and don’t reach the rest. I haven’t figured out why yet, and I’m trying to understand it.

Tentative question, but I can’t not ask it. Let’s talk about the first video game you played

Super Breakout! And I played it at the bar of the bowling club, where my grandfather used to take me. He could barely reach the caster.

Rudy Bandiera 
has a motto that says, “If you don’t like video games, it’s only because you haven’t found the game that’s right for you yet” What do you think?

I would say that is a very fitting maxim. Although I think there is a share of diehards who do not want to accept it, and who will always think that in the end, “it’s just games.”

Have you ever thought about developing a video game?

No, never. I always thought about playing them, but never about doing them.
It never occurred to me.

This concludes my chat with Simone.
Thinking back to the early years of video games, to when everything was new, put me in a mixture of nostalgia and glee. This “researching the genesis” of the video game world really keeps us young, as Simone reminded us.

You can also find Simone on Instagram


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