I am 42 years old, so I'm entitled to the occasional fit of "good old days" ranting. To me, the 1980's were halcyon days. Sure, we had no cell phones, no Internet, and no disc-based gaming. Video games were, at best, cartoonish or badly-pixellated renderings of objects and people that you interacted with on a 2D plane. You tended to see a bit of interference in the background of your TV set from other channels as you played on channel 3. Still, the games were fun back then. Plus, you actually had to have some skill to play them.
You were constantly challenged by the games you played. All games were in essence a form of competition. You were out to beat your last high score, or even better, your friends' high scores. There were levels, but most games had no end to them; they just looped around, at least until Super Mario Bros. changed that paradigm. Even then, you had to beat the game using only a set number of lives and continues.
You tried and failed and tried again and again, or you realized that you had wasted $50, which in that time was a small fortune to a kid. So you sat Indian-style on the living room floor for hours struggling through Bionic Commando...