When Home Computers Caused Raptures of Transcendental Ecstasy

Here are some of the images and adverts during the height of the digital penetration

Believe it or not, it was a hard sell in the early 1980s to convince people to buy a computer for the home.  The contraptions were insanely expensive, and they simply couldn’t do a whole lot.  Something as simple as filing recipes was a tall order for an ’82 PC.  Of course, we were happy with terrible graphics because we knew nothing better – yet, as enticing as having Pong in the living room did sound, the expense was simply out of the ballpark for most families.

Subsequently, it was time for advertisers to play hard ball.  No longer were they selling you something that would be a nice asset to your home office or entertainment center.  Those days were over. Now, it was being sold as a piece of equipment that was quite literally going to gob smack your very soul.  This wasn’t a simple piece of hardware like a microwave  – this was a trans-dimensional gift from the gods, and you will never – I repeat, NEVER – be the same.

The tactic worked, and the masses lined up to splurge their life savings on computers and games.  Here are some of the images and adverts during the height of the digital penetration….


101_Amazing! It can divide!


Behold the Answer to All Our Prayers.  It’s reminiscent of the apes surrounding the 2001: A Space Odyssey obelisk.  And notice the Holy Aura surrounding this gift from the Heavens.  Never mind the fact that they haven’t figured out yet that it’s facing the wrong way.  No matter.  Timmy’s college fund was well spent.


111_computer amazement


There are only a handful of instances where these expressions of wondrous joy are permissible: When winning a lottery, riding a unicorn, or when a preternatural being reveals the divine mysteries of the universe to you.

You’ll notice I did not include “when viewing awful graphics of a bear and an upside down train.”  Unless this monitor is coated with ecstasy and bath salts,  I think their reaction is a bit excessive.




“Do ya like this game, Suzy?”

“Sure, dad.  I guess so.”

“Well, you better ‘cause I owe a very bad man a lot of money now. “ Dad begins to laugh and weep at the same time.  “I’m gonna miss you Suzy.  Play a round for me, wouldya?”




Unless this man has been deaf his whole life, and only now is able to experience the wonders of sound, there is no excuse for reaction.  It’s just a sound card.  A word of advice: if you turn your PC speakers on and someone makes this expression, they are either (A) experiencing an aneurism, and you should seek medical help, or (B) they are mad as a hatter, and should be restrained as quickly as possible.


102_Computer Shock and Awe


What is on that monitor which could possibly warrant a flying chicken and these two faces in a state of synchronized climax?  My guess is it’s roughly 8 colors, highly pixelated, and barely watchable after five minutes.  Yet this advertisement would have you believe to play this game is to see the Face of God.


Family_Computing_Issue_04_1983_Dec-151 copy


Creepiest dad ever.  I don’t even want to know what they mean by making his apple shine.




Please be aware that this is a crummy piece of typing software.  Yes, I know it looks like a kinky virtual reality game.  Nope.  It’s just the worst movie tie-in software ever produced.  Also, take note that there’s no computer to be found – he’s still using a typewriter, which just adds to the pointless inanity of it all.


Blip_Issue_06_1983_Jul-27 copy


Oh, the wonderful times you’ll have with your kids (as mom slaves away in the kitchen, silently bitter).


11_casio ad full


This is a card which acts as a calculator and also plays some low quality music.  Nothing to freak out about, right?  Wrong.

If you could time travel and view the wonders of the 27th century, with all its dazzling technological advances, I predict you STILL will not be half as amazed as this man.


194_Compute_Issue_078_1986_Nov-39 copy


FYI – ‘Plinker’ is a contraction of “People Link”.  Although, this man looks to be doing a whole other kind of ‘plinking’.  Perhaps it would be best to end here and give this man some privacy.

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.