Spacewar! (1962) - Latest Free Vintage Games Online Bonus Chapter

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The sixth of nine free online bonus chapters that are in addition to the 25 chapters found 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, available at booksellers worldwide, including Amazon.com, is now available. Head on over to Gamasutra to read Spacewar! (1962): The Best Waste of Time in the History of the Universe. The remaining three online bonus chapters, released one a month, will be Defender, Robotron: 2084 and Star Raiders, which will form the complete set of 34 chapters between the book and online. Don't forget there are well over 100 bonus images not found in the book or in the online bonus chapters, available here. Want to know what others' think of the book? Check it out here and don't forget to get yourself a copy!

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yakumo9275
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Joined: 12/26/2006
Just in time for my lunch

Just in time for my lunch hour :) sweet guys.

not bad chapter, but seemed light on what it actually influenced.
apart from the requisite asteroids, the only space war type game I ever played to death was a c64 game called '1985' which was more a thrust clone than anything else.

I have trouble feeling the depiction of the 'virtual world' in spacewar and I'm not really feeling much of its influence in todays gaming world.

Who here remembers the Novell written NetWars (http://www.mobygames.com/game/netwars ) that came with DR Dos and could be mulitplayed over ipx?

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Spacewar! influences

Well, in this case, the Spacewar! chapter is more of a companion piece to the Pong chapter. So you take the two together and you get a very complete picture of what and how each influenced and the dramatic contrasts.

With that said, I agree about it seeming light in comparison to what's in the book and the other online bonus chapters. This paragraph kind of sums up the conundrum:

Spacewar! introduced real-time action, an arsenal of weapons, special moves, variable game conditions, physics, and a virtual world. It demonstrated that computers were far more than just expensive calculators. They were, at least for many of us, the future of entertainment.

It pretty much influenced EVERYTHING, so the implications are more or less implicit in that.

As for NetWars, I never had the pleasure, but it looks very, very cool.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Wow, that game does look

Wow, that game does look neat. It looks familiar somehow, but I don't think I've played it...It looks like something I'd have been into in a major way, though.

I thought this chapter turned out well. I just re-read it and got a kick out of all the puns. :)

I think Bill and I were both thinking that Spacewar! history had been so many times that it wasn't worth our time rehashing all the same old stuff, so we tried to have more fun and keep it light. It's not like there's not twenty different places you could go to read the fine details of the game, including several books. Not necessarily an excuse, just saying the goal of the chapter wasn't to be exhaustive, since we didn't feel we had any obligations to defend the game's influences (others have done so for us).

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LarryLaffer (not verified)
Congradulations, this is a

Congradulations, this is a great article, I liked it so much! I really think you got it right this time. Sure there are some games that are not mentioned but come on, like you say what is NOT influenced by Spacewar. I say NO GAME is not influenced by it. What game is not, I ask you? What are you do list every game made? People are retards, that is not the point, the point is that you wrote the article I ever read on this game and backed it up with excelent writing. Kudos!

When I read this of course I thought why do you guys not do this more often, once a month is not enough. please stop with the videos and focus on what you do best which is write about my favorite games!

I know I sometimes speak my mind but I do not mean to make you mad, only being true to myself. If I like it I say so if I do not like it I say so, plain as simple.

p.s. can i get an accoutn

Bill Loguidice
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It's never safe to assume

It's never safe to assume that doing one thing precludes us (or anyone) from doing something else. There's no relation to our video/audio/writing/whatever work. We do what's appropriate when it's appropriate. The nine Gamasutra "articles" that will finish up in September was material we previously wrote that was meant to be included in our Vintage Games book. It didn't fit, so it went to Gamasutra as content for them.

As for that time thing, well, one reason why I've been able to post so many blog posts lately is that I've found some time at work and doing those blog posts don't require any concentration to do like a book or article would or whatever. I can start and stop them without having to worry about flow/train of thought. So without knowing that you might be thinking, "Hey, stop writing blog posts and go write some articles." It doesn't work like that.

If you'd like an account, no problem, just use the Contact Us form.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Rowdy Rob
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The "Space War" chapter was great!

I greatly enjoyed this chapter, much like I enjoyed the "Pong" chapter. There's something about going back to the very beginning of videogaming that stirs my soul, and this chapter hit that "soul spot." It was well written, and even has a similar feel to one of my favorite books of all-time: "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution," which was invoked in the chapter. (REQUIRED READING for anyone interested in classic computing!!!!) I'm sorry that this chapter (as well as the "Pong" chapter) wasn't included in the "Vintage Games" book.

In response to Mr. Laffer, I ABSOLUTELY enjoy Matt's videos, every one of them so far. I can't imagine a classic gamer not enjoying them. No one is forcing you to watch, Mr. Laffer. Sorry that Steven Spielberg is not producing his videos. I watch an occasional YouTube video other than Matt's and MaximumRD's, and much of the stuff is of equal or lesser quality to Matt's (although on totally different subjects). For example, here's a guy who has over a MILLION subscribers on YouTube. I stumbled upon him looking for Asian-oriented videos (I am half-Asian, BTW, as if I hadn't said that a million times before here on AA):

If you watch this, what do you think? Is "Matt Chat" REALLY that inferior to the production values of THIS????!?!?! I realize this is a couple of kids in this video, but apparently they are among the TOP YouTube comedians. Seriously, Mr. Laffer, take your fire elsewhere, and perhaps aim it at these guys. One thing I am thankful for is that Matt has maintained his dignity throughout. And his videos bring honor and intelligence to our gaming community. Keep in mind that Matt is a COLLEGE PROFESSOR, a PHD no less. He is an established intellectual. His videos reflect that, and will be far more relevant in the long run than videos saying "this game sucks....."

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

Matt Barton
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Well, geez, I had intended

Well, geez, I had intended to take a "vacation" from AA for awhile to cool off, but I can't resist chiming in. I was watching some other YouTubes about how to grow a viewership and what not, and one guy went on for quite some time about "haters." I only half-listened to that part, because I couldn't imagine anyone like that latching on to Matt Chats, but apparently I was wrong. There are people out there who are either deranged or perhaps feel they have a legitimate bone to pick with you, and they will do their best to bait and harass you (I've seen a bit of this on some of my favorite YouTube shows; people do all sorts of things to try to discredit you or injure your reputation).

To me, it makes no sense--I mean, if you don't like a video, why not just go away? Who is forcing you to watch it? But these people's minds don't work that way. They take it personal. It's as if by making a video about some game, you've come into their home and insulted them to their face, and they mean to make you pay. It's not normal or rational, but by God they're out there, and they have big mouths.

From what I've read, the best thing to do is just try to ignore them the best you can, mitigating their damage and depriving them of the one thing that keeps them coming back: attention. Don't respond, don't reply, don't act upset, just delete/block/ignore as long as they stay within the rules or law. Of course, once they step beyond that, it's time to call in the admins or, in extreme cases, the authorities.

It's doubly painful for somebody like me who loves feedback and always wants to learn how to improve or take things to the next level. So I'm usually wide open to attacks from these people, taking it full on the chin. Still, I'd rather take a few blows for the team than get arrogant and start assuming that I'm always right and everybody else is wrong. It's just life. But man, does it ever suck to be hated on for this stuff...

On the other hand, it makes you appreciate the good folks who come out and get your back in these situations!!!

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
Youtube

I don't mean to derail this from Spacewar! anymore than it already is, but I have some comments to make about youtube, the internet, and really any online community. I have only been involved with online stuff since ...wait...well...okay 1988, but there is this trend that continues to this day - and in its greatest volume ever - of trolling around and stirring things up. I actually fought this sort of thing at one point. I would try to find the rational behind someone's post, question one's answer and sometimes even start rubbing people the wrong way with my own opinion! - a turn against them that perhaps they were ultimately trying to get out of me.

My mistake is that I am in it for the logic. They are in it for the entertainment - the gags, the trolling, whatever. It's so easy and harmless to get a rise out of people that are simply black text on a white background. You have to go beyond simply applying logic and think about the fact there are other people out there that have no interest in tying logic (and well...courtesy among other things) into their postings. How appropriate that I just watched Star Trek TOS - The Galileo Seven tonight. It isn't always about being logical.

I have an account on youtube. I almost never use it. I told myself that if I did, I would either disable comments or delete the ones I didn't like. I see youtube as a total dictatorship. If I put something on it that I am willing to share with others, they can critique it so long as they are respectful. If I see things going the wrong way, I won't hesitate to delete comments people write. If it goes too far, I will disable commenting completely. No need to respond. Nobody has the "right" to be able to publicly respond to anything they see on the net.

You have control of your videos on youtube. You guys have control of Armchair Arcade. If someone runs you the wrong way, cut them off. I already know that you guys are capable of accepting criticism and creating a reasoned and measured response to negative comments. I also know that you can easily tell when someone is crossing a line. There is no reason to draw out a long "let's try to work things out with this person" when they are trolling. Cut them off, let them move on to some other place, life goes on.

forward slash soapbox,
Chris

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I couldn't agree more,

I couldn't agree more, Chris. Some of the old-timers can tell you that more than anyone else, I am a man guided by liberal principles. I have often said that I may disagree with your opinion, but will die for your right to say it. That said, there seems to be people who are so uncivil, so contrary to all boundaries of polite and decent behavior, so malignant in their design...Well, only a fool would die for such nonsense. It's one thing to say, "Gentlemen, I respect your opinion, but disagree because X, Y, and Z." That's fine. What I can't tolerate is the unreasoned, inflammatory, ignorant B.S. that is posted for no other reason than to make people angry. If someone says, "Matt, your coverage of Adventure had some major problems," fine. I'll listen. If you come on with, "You suck," I pretty much turn off at that point. If you've got something to say, say it. If you're just having a bad day (or bad life!) and want to come here to spew vitriol at innocent people for the sole purpose of causing a ruckus...Well, I personally can't tolerate it. I have to draw the line.

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
I got suckered in by a troll

My apologies for diverting this topic from "SpaceWar," which is a great bonus chapter (that should have been in VG with the PONG chapter!!!) that I hope results in more sales for VG. It's just that I am unaccustomed to seeing such negative stuff here in AA. AA has always seemed to be above such stuff; a safe haven from the web's usual nastiness. Of course we are all bombarded with such negative idiocy when we visit other sites, but such occurrences have been rare here for whatever reason. When it becomes "personal," I can't help but return fire and destroy my opponent, or at least try to wake them up and open their eyes to what's "real." If anything, I was much more restrained in my diatribe than I wanted to be.

I guess the more success you have, the more "haters" you have. Look at all the people who HATE certain celebrities, even though they've never met them! Hate seems to go with success. I don't know why.... but it ISN'T about criticism. Heck, I've been on record here for giving criticism (perhaps PAINFUL criticism), but it's never about "you suck," it's about how I think great people can be even greater (whether they accept my criticisms or not). Why "hang up" something when it is just getting started, and many people enjoy it (especially me), and especially when many people will EVENTUALLY discover and enjoy a high-class product?

Anyhow, I won't go on and on... you guys know where I'm coming from. This one felt just a bit personal to me, as opposed to the general insanity of the Internet. I'm not sure why that is, but it is.

Matt, you are highly skilled, talented, intelligent, and successful, with an engaging personal presence. That is not my opinion, it is obvious to everyone who watches your videos. And you know it too deep down, whether you admit it to yourself or not. You wouldn't feel compelled to do what you do if you didn't KNOW that deep down. That goes for most AA people (including myself). Haters are just like the buzzing of flies around success. Swat them away as the insignificant preschoolers they are. That's all I'll say. Let's get back to talking about games.... sorry for the diatribe.

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

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