Here is a great CBC Television feature from 1982 about arcade games. Featuring an interview with Eugene Jarvis, the creator of Defender.
Hey, guys, I want to thank you all again for the help with the book, and rest assured that I've thanked as many of you who helped as possible in the acknowledgments. Matt and I should have solicited help much sooner, but I was being a bit protective of the material until we settled on our formula and everything was well and truly underway (we'll release a full chapter list, i.e., game list, when we get closer to the pub date, then we have to create a special section on AA for the book per the contract). Well, I just checked, and I think the last chapter that's left (several more still need to be written) that we haven't had a discussion here on, is the Tony Hawk chapter. My basic reasoning for including it is that besides being a videogame phenomena in its own right, to my mind it kind of signaled the return of alternative sports games, i.e., the return of slightly more casual sports games and alternatives to the traditional sports like Madden, which as you know is also its own chapter. So while the goal of the Madden chapter is to kind of detail the transition from arcade style sports to the modern sports genre, the goal of the Tony Hawk chapter is to kind of detail the return to an alternative to the modern sports genre. I kind of see games like 720 degrees, California Games, NBA Jam and NFL Blitz leading to Tony Hawk and all the modern extreme sports games, and the introduction of things like SSX, NBA Ballers and the like. In other words, they're all related. So, Madden and Tony Hawk to me represent the main division in sports videogames and that's where the two chapters will differ and the reason for including both (at least at the time). So please let me know what you all think, as the help is absolutely needed with only a few more days left to go!
First off, I outdid myself with the title of this chapter. I'm not going to spoil the surprise, but I really had an inspiration. ;)
Ah, Street Fighter II, the game I hated with a passion in high school. Why the hate?
Okay, folks. This damn book was due like a week ago, so ante up with your thoughts on Space Invaders. I know Mark has posted some great stuff on shmups that I intend to look at for this chapter, but if you have any "YOU GOTTA MENTION THIS" type crap, type it up. What I'm probably going to focus on is how the game was so appealing to the general public (instead of "hardcore" gamers), the importance of the high score, and a bit about how it inspired a whole genre of games that is still around today. Just to let you know now, though, there is no way in hell this is going to be a comprehensive look at all shmups, or even all the really good ones. I'll be lucky to get in the top five, so help me out with that if you will.
My latest MaximumRD video lol!
Shaky cam, my thumb in the way at first, and horrible sound levels but that is the price for throwing togehter a video so quickly lol! My Quick and Dirty look at the unboxing of the SEARS VIDEO ARCADE II.........
A MaximumRD video on YOUTUBE.
I wasn't necessarily planning on doing Star Raiders next, but since we were discussing it here, I figured why fight the momentum? While I have the Atari 8-bit and Atari 2600 version (the latter of course with the Star Raiders controller), I must say that my experience with the game is limited. I'd love to hear what you like about it, about any other versions you're aware of (the Atari ST version is notable, but it's my understanding that it's missing some of the magic), including any clones. Obviously it influenced Elite and Wing Commander and maybe even the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back arcade games, and was itself inspired most likely by Exidy's 1979 arcade game, Star Fire (is that correct? In any case, it was a knock-off of Star Wars the movie), or was it something even a bit earlier? Star Fire was even cloned on the Commodore PET that same year. See the video here. Thanks!
Well, it's beyond crunch time now and we're in danger of having to drop some chapters if we don't pick up the pace, so we need your help now more than ever. I've been jumping around a bit in the book and just threw a bunch of notes in the Robotron: 2084 chapter. I would love to hear about all your favorite games with Robotron-like 360 degree independent movement and firing, be it in the arcade or at home, to ensure that I don't miss any. It would also be a big help if I could hear a good listing of Xbox 360 and PS3 downloadable games that make use of the Robotron-style control scheme, as there are legion. It would really save me a ton of research. Thanks so much, guys!
Here's a log transcript of the fateful visit to the Great Horns Tavern of Magincia of the Pacific shard (server), documented and screenshoted by yours truly. Oh, and Matt, full permission extended to use what you want in your writings.
Please note there's a lot of noise because of the various players chatting in the background.
Ben Kahns: *rolls eyes*
Hey guys! I'll be working on the Pong chapter while I'm working on the Spacewar! chapter, as their historical lead-ups kind of run in parallel. In any case, Pong needs no introduction, from its first conceptual appearance on Ralph Baer's Brown Box that "inspired" Nolan Bushnell to ask Al Alcorn to create the original arcade game, to the precursor to it all from 1958, William Higginbotham's "Tennis for Two". Of course I'll also be discussing the various home Pong systems and clones and a few ways that the game influenced future games. As always, your thoughts are much appreciated for this truly iconic game.