Many years ago (20+), the Seattle “fun forest” (aka “a video game arcade located at the Seattle Center”) moved from its location in the basement of the old Armory building to a new location nearby. The folks running the fun forest took that opportunity to get rid of the video games that weren’t making enough money any more.
Those machines were all put out at the curb to be hauled to the dump. Dozens and dozens of arcades from the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
A gentlemen drove by, saw this sad sight, and offered to take all the games away – which the people running the fun forest readily agreed to, happy to not need to pay the fees to dispose of them all.
So he rented a van and took several trips to drag them up to his home – where he promptly stored them away in his basement and garage. Eventually he decided he needed to get rid of them… so he put an add out to sell a few of the more common items. One of those was a Choplifter arcade that needed some work.
I saw this ad and gave him a call. Turns out he had a lot of interesting items… but one caught my attention: He had a Computer Space.
Now, this was fairly exciting for the Lunduke clan. Computer Space being the very first arcade video game machine ever produced (by Nolan who went on to found Atari). Both my wife and I considered having a Computer Space to be something important to do one day. It was a bit of a life goal.
So we go down to his basement (in rural, Western Washington) to take a look and buy it off him.
We got there… and our jaws dropped.
It was a solid yellow model. Which made it a bit rare.
Then I go to look at the back… and the serial number plate had never been stamped on the top. Which, knowing the history of this machine, meant one thing: This was the first one that rolled off the assembly line.
The very first unit, of the very first arcade video game ever made.
So I did what any sensible person would do when a priceless piece of history is found…
I took it home, plopped it in my dining room, got my wife pregnant, had a daughter, put her in a high chair right next to it and gave her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.