Vintage Games Book Bonus Chapter 1 Released - "Pong: Avoid Missing Game to Start Industry"

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Gamasutra has released the first in a series of nine bonus chapters not included in our book, "Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time". The first entry is "Pong: Avoid Missing Game to Start Industry". This is slightly different from the other chapters as it goes a bit more into history rather than things like gameplay elements, but that's appropriate considering the elegant simplicity of the game in question. Let us know what you think!

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davyK
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Excellent job. I've delved

Excellent job. I've delved into this period quite a bit myself over the years so not much new info for me - but many will find it very informative. Great shots of some of Bill's goodies accompanied by well though out screenshots enhance everything. (love the imacculate Odyssey).

Bill Loguidice
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Pong!
davyK wrote:

Excellent job. I've delved into this period quite a bit myself over the years so not much new info for me - but many will find it very informative. Great shots of some of Bill's goodies accompanied by well though out screenshots enhance everything. (love the imacculate Odyssey).

Thanks for the feedback, Davy. I agree that there are going to be several timeworn stories for the dedicated gamer such as yourself (Pong is probably the poster boy for it), but hopefully even those still remain enjoyable reads.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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davyK
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Oh it's an enjoyable read

Oh it's an enjoyable read alright - no problems there at all.

Matt Barton
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A few links that mention

A few links that mention this article:

The Escapist: John Funk has some very flattering things to say; lovin' it.

Cow Cow. This blogger loves it!

Wikipedia look closely for the in-text citation! It's kinda funny seeing "of Gamasutra" though.

If you see anymore, please let us know! It's like candy.

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Bill Loguidice
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Wikipedia
Matt Barton wrote:

Wikipedia look closely for the in-text citation! It's kinda funny seeing "of Gamasutra" though.

If you see anymore, please let us know! It's like candy.

I had actually put it as an external link, but it was taken out by whoever maintains it and used as an inline reference instead. I guess technically we are "of Gamasutra" since we've had two article series contracts in a row for 2008 - 2009.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Rowdy Rob
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Um..... It wasn't what I expected.....

Yeah, it wasn't what I expected.....

It was better!!! :-)

I don't know why, but reading the first few paragraphs actually brought a smile to my face. There was a fair amount of information that I didn't know about the background of "Pong," even though I thought I was fairly well informed about videogames (I am here at AA, after all!).

Since I've regularly read your (Bill and Matt's) comments for years (wow, years!!!), I figured I pretty much knew what to expect, which was definitely good, but the quality of this "bonus" chapter bodes very well for the book.

Well done! I'm surprised that this chapter was removed from the book, though, considering the historical significance of "Pong."

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Bill Loguidice
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Thanks, Rob! Like I said,

Thanks, Rob! Like I said, every "cut" was PAINFUL, but hopefully it will be for the greater good of the book. The next one out of the shoot will be Pinball Construction Set, which I'm pretty happy about.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Rowdy Rob
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Less fanboyish raving...
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Thanks, Rob! Like I said, every "cut" was PAINFUL, but hopefully it will be for the greater good of the book. The next one out of the shoot will be Pinball Construction Set, which I'm pretty happy about..

My previous post sounded a bit "fanboyish," even though it was true. I'm a positive guy, but I'm not a B.S'er or a backside-kisser (I've never been one and never will be, perhaps to my detriment).... If the "Pong" chapter was $%&@, I'd either have tactfully told you so or not commented at all. I don't know you guys personally, but my honor is always a chief concern, never posting anything on the Internet that wasn't tactfully sincere (even under an "alias"), and if my postings here ever offend you, I can always go somewhere else with no loss of "personal" relationships (even though I would miss AA, which is currently one of the few outlets I can currently "geek out" at). I have no "personal" investment in "Vintage Games," so I say what I say honestly.

Backstory: I haven't smiled much recently, if at all, which is uncharacteristic for me, with people wondering why I'm so serious lately..... (it's been a rough month.)

I was in a "blasé" mood when I clicked on the link. I was thinking, "Well, I'm going to be reading this book in a couple of months anyway.... I suppose I should go ahead and read this." Heck, to be honest, I don't know what I was thinking, I just blankly clicked the link and started reading.....

Before I even finished the first page, I noticed myself broadly smiling! Why? I am not sure, but I guess it was partially the fact that, after seeing the book "hyped" here on AA for the last half-year or so, knowing the "backstory" that you guys were under pressure, I thought, MAYBE, the writing might feel rushed and dry, or more like a message board "post" than literature. Even an off-the-cuff stream-of-consciousness "post" by you guys is entertaining, which is a large reason why I enjoy this site, but I was sort of expecting to read a well-researched "post" on Pong, I guess. And I was ok with that. Even a "post" is better than some of the impenetrable "scholar" works I've been trying to read recently ("Leftism" by Erik von Kuenhelt-Leddihn, to be specific).

I might have expected yet another "post," but no, this was an obviously well-edited, well-researched, informative, nostalgic, and entertaining read. It reads like a "real" book. A good one, too, considering the subject matter, both informative and clear. I think it was the "dry" humor in the first few paragraphs that made me smile, though, with a touch of nostalgia, and probably little or nothing to do with the fact that I frequent AA regularly. I dunno. I doubt I was even thinking "Armchair Arcade" as I read the chapter on a conscious level, so it was probably the nostalgia. I was reading something on the "Gamasutra" site, and not an AA "blog."

I don't know who wrote this chapter (Bill or Matt), since it doesn't say on the Gamasutra site, but I suspect Bill wrote it, even though the writing has many hallmarks of Matt's "scholarly yet jovial" style evidenced in Matt's "D&D" book. If Bill wrote this, there's apparently been some crossover influence.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that somehow, seeing you guys kick ass and exceed my expectations made me feel a touch of pride to "know" you guys before you were "stars!" :-) And it boosted my mood significantly.

That being said, this might be a false impression, with the rest of the book being $#&%@~!

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Bill Loguidice
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Thank you as always for the

Thank you as always for the wonderful comments, as they're certainly spirit lifters on this end, and I'm glad we were able to do the same for you. The acknowledgment you received in the book was genuine as well and I hope it brings at least a small bit of satisfaction to you as well when you see it. As for offending us ever, so what, we're all friends here and we're entitled to occasional arguments and disagreements, not that I can recall us ever having any.

As for who wrote what, you're very perceptive on all counts, but hopefully even though you can tell a "Bill chapter" from a "Matt chapter" it's written with as singular a voice as two authors can provide under the circumstances. I think it might actually be a strength of the book all told, as we each have certain strengths and weaknesses in our styles, the latter of which can be mitigated by the other.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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I think the bonus chapters

I think the bonus chapters are great, but all I can say is--if you like them--you're going to want to own the book as well. The bonus chapters should give you a very good idea of what the book will be like, so I like to think of it as a demo or even a try-before-you-buy kind of setup.

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