As Google often likes to do, today they've placed the focus on an important anniversary, The 30th Anniversary of PAC-MAN. Naturally, Pac-Man is one of a handful of pop culture icons that encapsulates what many people think of when they think of the word "videogames". Heck, even when people are shown playing videogames in commercials, you'll STILL hear 30 year old Pac-Man sound effects coming from their modern day handheld or console! As you no doubt know, I wrote a colorful book called Vintage Games with Matt Barton not too long ago, and sure enough, Chapter 13, entitled "Pac-Man (1980): Japanese Gumption, American Consumption" features the pie guy himself and the games that incredible title influenced. So, be sure to re-read the chapter in your copy of the book as we celebrate this important videogame milestone - Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (2009), by Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton, through Focal Press.
NOTE: In case you haven't noticed, you can go to Google's Home Page and try their first ever interactive doodle. Yep, you can play a nifty variation of Pac-Man right in your browser (just "Insert Coin" once for one player, or twice for a two player game with Ms. Pac-Man). Nice job, Google!
Our book, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time, has been spotted on Italian TV. Claudio Todeschini and Stefano Gaburri, who translated our work to Italian, were featured on a Rai.TV program. Check out their original blog post about it, then check out the video. It's a great feature on them and the book (even for those of us who don't speak Italian) and it starts at approximately the 06:25 mark. Cool stuff! (Matt and I should be receiving our copies of the Italian edition any day now as well)
Pixel Perfect Gaming has posted a very nice review of our book, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. Right now it appears on their front page, but here's the direct link to the review article for when it gets bumped down. I won't spoil what the reviewer has to say, but I certainly can't complain on this one. Don't forget, Vintage Games is still available from retailers worldwide, has its official page here, and an Italian edition here. Enjoy!
I don't have all of the details, but I was given the heads up from Italian friend Luca Antignano (involved in CreatiVision homebrew activities, among other things) that our book, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time, will be present at the Video Games History event, October 3 and 4, 2009, Italy. I'm told the book will be both part of the promotional materials and also "introduced" at the event. As you may or may not recall, while Vintage Games is available worldwide, there has been interest from other publishing companies to create region/language-specific "special editions" of the book, starting first with Italy. Also, be sure to check out another Italian site, GamesCollection, for additional news.
The ninth 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 Star Raiders (1979): The New Hope. This concludes our experiment in providing a true value add for readers of the book, content that could never fit in a reasonably priced mass market publication. Hopefully this convinces the last of the fence sitters to buy the book! 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. Between all of the free online content and the content in the book, it should keep you busy for quite some time. It looks like there is also a good possibility for fully translated special editions of Vintage Games for other territories, starting with an Italian Edition. We'll let you know as this news develops.
Our next book out should be Wii Fitness for Dummies, which will be released in early 2010, followed by an amazing feature film documentary on the history of videogames through Lux Digital Pictures. Keep checking back at Armchair Arcade for the latest on these and other exciting projects!
Marty Goldberg and ClassicGaming.com just put up a great review of 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. While I naturally disagree with the reviewer trying to differentiate what a "videogame" and a "computer game" is based on display - I believe anything that generates its own changeable display of a sufficient resolution qualifies as a videogame (in other words get over the word "video" and treat it as the concept it is, making it both past and future proof (which is one of many reasons why I prefer it as a single word) and not beholden to what amounts to Ralph Baer's convenient legal argument) - overall the review is a positive one. Check it out here.
As previously mentioned, Retro Gamer magazine issue 65, and GameRoom magazine July 2009, covered 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. Well, my copies of each of the magazines came today, and I wanted to share some quick thoughts - including some low quality iPhone photos (to protect their IP naturally; buy your own copies - they're worth it!) - on the magazines.
It was with great relief that the Slashdot review of our Vintage Games book went up on Wednesday. With the continued expansion of the World Wide Web and the vast quantity of high quality information resources available, Slashdot doesn't quite have the impact it once had, but it's certainly still an important and valuable site to have in your corner, particularly when you're trying to bring a higher profile to something like this book (in fact, it helped push the book to a sales ranking high of 3,282 on Amazon.com out of millions of products). With minimal qualification, the review was a positive one, rating the book a very high (for Slashdot) 8 out of 10, with the main criticism of our work being some of the images included in the book and their value in illustrating some of the text. Unfortunately in drawing attention to the images the reviewer failed to mention how nice the images are throughout the full color glossy production, and that - certainly in my opinion - it was important in our limited space to use the images as an opportunity to add to the text rather than merely illustrate what was already discussed. And of course I'm particularly proud of including images and the related history not found in any other work of this type.
Anyway, with all of that said, there are over 150 comments to the review (and by extension the book) and counting, and I'd just like to take this opportunity to clarify what "Vintage Games" the book is and isn't.
Gamasutra has released the fourth of nine bonus chapters not 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. The new bonus chapter is called, Elite: Space, The Endless Frontier, and like the other bonus and in-book chapters covers not only the title game, but discusses those games that influenced it, what it influenced, and the genre in general. You can read more about the book at its main page, where you'll also find links to the other online bonus chapters and well over 100 online bonus images not found anywhere else. The next bonus chapter will be on Rogue and will be released May 2009. Enjoy!