Atari’s Summer Camp Collection: A Retro Revival of a Forgotten Era

Atari, the iconic gaming company that pioneered the arcade and home console industry, has recently launched a limited-edition range of clothing and accessories inspired by its obscure past. The Summer Camp Collection, which features T-shirts, tanks, totes, caps, and hats, celebrates a unique moment in the early 80s, when Atari ran computer camps for young programmers across the US.

Atari Computer Camps: A Visionary Experiment

The Atari Computer Camps were an ambitious project that aimed to foster the passion and potential of young coders by combining computer science and programming with fun and social activities. The camps ran for two summers in 1982 and 1983, and offered a one-week or two-week program for kids aged 10 to 16. The campers learned how to use Atari computers, create games and graphics, and explore the basics of artificial intelligence. They also enjoyed classic camp activities such as sports, swimming, music, and arts.

Atari’s Summer Camp Collection: A Retro Revival of a Forgotten Era
Atari’s Summer Camp Collection: A Retro Revival of a Forgotten Era

The camps were held at various locations across the US, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. The cost ranged from $375 to $675 per week, depending on the location and duration. The campers received an Atari computer system, a backpack, a T-shirt, a hat, and a certificate of completion. They also had access to the latest Atari games and software.

The camps were advertised in the Atari Age magazine, a quarterly publication that featured news, reviews, tips, and contests for Atari fans. The magazine also offered a membership to the Atari Club, which gave subscribers exclusive games, discounts, and merchandise. The club was relaunched by Atari earlier this year as “a nexus for connecting Atari with fans and partners, creating shared experiences and collaborating on future projects.”

Summer Camp Collection: A Nostalgic Tribute

The Summer Camp Collection is a nostalgic tribute to the Atari Computer Camps and the Atari Club. The collection features retro designs and logos that evoke the spirit of the 80s. The clothing items are made of soft cotton and come in various colors and sizes. The accessories are made of durable canvas and have ample space for storing essentials. The collection is available for purchase online until September 8th.

The collection is part of Atari’s efforts to revive its brand and reconnect with its loyal fan base. The company has also announced plans to launch a new console called the Atari VCS (Video Computer System), which is a modern version of the classic Atari 2600. The VCS will support both old and new games, as well as streaming services and apps. The console is expected to ship later this year.

Atari CEO Wade Rosen said that the Summer Camp Collection is a way of celebrating Atari’s history and legacy. He said: “Atari did a lot of things in the golden age of gaming, but few people would’ve guessed it ran summer camps in the 1980s. In many ways, it’s unimaginable, but through a modern lens, it makes perfect sense. Atari sought to capitalize on the potential of young programmers by encouraging their passion with organized fun, because they were the entertainment creators of the future.”

How to Get Your Hands on the Summer Camp Collection

If you are interested in getting your hands on the Summer Camp Collection, you can visit Atari’s official website and browse through the items. You can also sign up for the Atari Club membership and get access to exclusive offers and updates. The collection is only available for a limited time, so don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of gaming history.

The Summer Camp Collection is not only a stylish way to show your love for Atari, but also a reminder of a forgotten era when gaming was more than just entertainment. It was also an educational and creative endeavor that inspired generations of programmers and developers. As Rosen said: “These camps combined computer science and programming with those classic, all-American camp traits: social activities, sports, swimming, music, and arts.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *