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Bill Loguidice's picture

Rare "Death Race" (1976) arcade machine photos and videos from the The Musee Mecanique in San Francisco

Luckily, on the last day of our San Francisco trip devoted to filming amazing interviews for the feature film, "W00t!: The Videogame Revolution", Matt and I had a chance to visit the The Museum of the City of San Francisco, The Musee Mecanique. Among the great stuff there was a pristine "Death Race" arcade machine from 1976, which was the first controversial videogame, supposedly inspired by the 1975 cult classic movie, "Death Race 2000". The object? Run as many "gremlins" down with your car before time runs out. The question is, are they "gremlins" or people? Regardless of the answer, hearing the screams as they're mowed down is surely memorable! Check out the casual photos and videos below:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Photos of my Home Arcade Machine from when it first arrived back in February of 2006

I had recently blogged about and posted photos of the current state of my home arcade machine and the surrounding area. I've been going through my network backup drive and came across some interesting photos from when I first got the machine in February of 2006 that I never did anything with. When it was shipped, several wires inside got knocked loose and I was planning on documenting the restoration and the internals in great detail. That never happened, but I did take a few photos in anticipation of that. These are those photos (this is back when we were living in our previous house). I'm not going to describe each photo like I did in the previous blog entry, but they should still be interesting nonetheless for those wanted to know just a bit more about what's going on inside of the thing. When I power the coin slot in the future, I'll take updated photos, but these should suffice for now. Click here for the album of 38 photos or here for the slide show. Enjoy.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Photos of Home Arcade Machine Area and More with Commentary

I wanted to take some decent but casual and unedited photos of my home arcade machine (from Dream Authentics, purchased several years back) and immediate surrounding area (part of the basement/den) so I can more easily refer to specific items when discussing them going forward. Also, enough has changed since last year to justify this update for January 2009. Any questions, ask away. Note, you can click on each photo and then select a larger size. Also, when you go to the Flickr area, I highlighted a few active areas on some of the photos with notes.

Live Streaming Retro Video Gaming World Record Attempt

Two players are competing in a world record attempt at Nibbler. The streaming video is running right now.

Bill Loguidice's picture

A few videogame, computer and related things (or "things I learned") I've been doing in the past few days of "vacation"

I've been on vacation from work with the wife and kids at home since last Friday (until the 30th), so I've actually had time to do some videogame, computer and related things I've been meaning to do for a very long time. As I mentioned in another thread my wife had a cookie party on Saturday, so I took some time away from all the ladies with my dad by retiring to the basement and getting his help with finishing upgrading/repairing the modified Hero Jr robot and PAL-based Exidy Sorcerer, as well as repairing a spare Nintendo DS Lite in an aftermarket case and Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Braid - The Cohabitation of Art and Videogames

"Art" is a word frequently thrown around in the videogame world, usually in the question, "Are videogames art?". While art truly is in the eye of the beholder and it's ultimately fruitless to try and argue if videogames and art can be one in the same, from my perspective there have been precious few times when something in the videogame world struck me as beautiful and made me feel emotions normally reserved for my experiences with other forms of entertainment. It's with that idea in mind then that I come to Braid from Number None Inc., for Microsoft's Xbox 360, via Xbox Live Arcade. To me, this time manipulation puzzle platformer is art in its truest sense, from the painterly, animated graphics style to the almost transcendental instrumental music to the rather flowery and richly constructed prose. Braid is also a game of seemingly purposeful contrasts, embracing often overly tread videogame constructs like jumping on enemy heads to dispatch them (Super Mario Bros.), finding and using keys (Shamus) and puzzle pieces (Impossible Mission), and reversing time in order to meet or re-do certain goals (Blinx), all wrapped up in an achingly beautiful aesthetic that makes everything else about it quite all right thank you very much. If I weren't terrifically busy and feeling a bit guilty about best use of my own time, I'd buy the 1200 point game immediately, but I will have to make do with a taste of the free demo for the time being, a demo of a game I'll want to expose my wife to at the first opportunity so I have someone else, firsthand, to share the experience with (and an experience it is). There are already countless reviews of Braid (whose title, for those wondering, is also fitting), but here's a brief one to get you started that hints just a bit more at what the game actually offers...

Matt Barton's picture

Pac-Man: Your Thoughts on the Pie Guy!

Pac-ManPac-ManPac-Man fever! That's what I have now that I've started work on the Pac-Man chapter in the book I'm currently writing with Bill Loguidice, the acclaimed collector and game historian. :) As usual, I started off by reading the wikipedia entry on the game, which this time was actually extremely detailed and helpful. One interesting thing about the wikipedia article is that it claims that the game designer, Toru Iwatani, was not inspired by a pizza as the old story goes. The article cites a book called Programmers at Work: Interviews, which I unfortunately do not own. If anyone does have this book or has thoughts on this matter, please let me know!

Bill Loguidice's picture

The Space Invaders TRS-80 'Bootleg' Project

This looks a bit old, but this person apparently successfully ported the real Space Invaders arcade game to a TRS-80 Model 4/4P with hi-res board (the board being the x-factor here and something few of us with TRS-80 collections have (I don't)).

Pretty extraordinary stuff and as the author says, probably the first of its kind ever attempted. As we know, someone did something similar on the far more capable (though no less impressive of a technical achievement) TRS-80 Color Computer 3 with arcade Donkey Kong.

Keep in mind that the Model 4 came out in 1983, based off of a platform first released in 1977, and the Color Computer 3 came out in 1987, based off of a platform first released in 1980!

Bill Loguidice's picture

The First Bally Astrocade Homebrew in the Modern Era - "War", the Colorful Warlords Clone

I've been following this development on the Bally Astrocade (ballyalley) mailing list and it looks like the author will soon be ready to go into production. I'm slightly disappointed that this game is not an original concept, but it looks undeniably great, even with the rash of quality homebrew Warlords clones on Atari systems in recent years (Castle Crisis, Medieval Madness). Paddle games are obviously ideally suited to the Astrocade since it has joysticks that double as spinners. Check out more info and a video here. As you can see, it makes superb use of color and really pushes a system with infamously limited system memory!

Commentary from author Mike G. from the list:

Destructoid Interviews Co-Owner of Retro-Arcade Ground Kontrol

Ground Kontrol Bar: The bar Ground Kontrol also features a smattering of retro consoles for sale.Ground Kontrol Bar: The bar Ground Kontrol also features a smattering of retro consoles for sale.

Somewhat goofy gaming blog Destructoid recently featured an article on a great retro-arcade in Portland, Oregon called Ground Kontrol. The interview with Anthony Ramos, the co-owner, is brief, but makes a good point-- is having a retro-arcade/bar combination the best way for the next generation of arcades to live on?

Since I live in Portland, Ground Kontrol is not too far from me. It's a lot of fun and pretty cheap-- I think all the games are either 25 or 50 cents to play. They feature titles as old as Asteroids or Tron and have a 2nd floor full of pinball games ranging from a simplistic Star Trek board from the 70's to a ultra-complicated Lords of the Rings pinball table. Well worth the visit if anyone stops by in Portland.

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