The dig for the Atari dump in the Alamagordo, New Mexico desert started today. It didn't take long to find
what they were looking for
Despite a customer base that crosses many demographics
, a large part of the video game industry has remained resolutely focused on appealing and marketing to male players in the 18-24 age group. It wasn't always this way. Although early coin-op and console game development was male-dominated, titles in the 1970s were either marketed for entire families or for adults in bars and later arcades. What changed? Polygon investigates
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted.
Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true
. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser
. And it was so.
I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott
, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
Atari cartridge art and artists
"The original Atari featured a wealth of games with box art that was quite a bit more imaginative than the “grizzled man holding a gun” template that’s so popular today."
In 1975, the blockbuster movie Jaws
was released. The series culminated in 1987 with a fourth movie, Jaws: The Revenge
. The NES game Jaws
(online) was released that same year, incorporating elements of both the original and fourth movie. But you probably don't know about the game that Mirrorsoft commissioned in 1984 from the husband-and-wife coding team, Dave & Sara Crud. They made a ZX Spectrum movie tie-in for the original film, only for rights holders to back out and leave it unreleased for nearly three decades ... UNTIL NOW!
Or at least that's the backstory MeFite malevolent
wrote. [via mefi projects
] [more inside]
Stardock buys rights to Star Control from Atari and plans a reboot!
In 1992, Accolade released one of the most greatestest, or at least silliest, space adventure games of totally forever: Star Control II. [more inside]
was a co-creator of Pong
, and he also sold Atari arcade machines. When he noticed that he sold the arcade machines for $1,500 to $2,000 but the new owners would earn twice that much in the life of the machines, he started thinking of how to make an arcade destination that wouldn't compete with his arcade machine clients. His solution: a pizza parlor, with an arcade for the kids and an pneumatic-powered animatronic coyote mascot to fool the parents it was restaurant with free entertainment
. The coyote became a rat named Chuck, and what was code-named Coyote Pizza was briefly renamed Rick Rat's Pizza
, but the marketing department thought the name wasn't such a great idea, and instead we got Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater
. [more inside]
Some claim it is the worst video game ever.
What is certain is that five million of them were dumped
by Atari in a New Mexico landfill. Now, Fuel Industries, a Canadian film production company, has received permission from the city of Alamagordo, to unearth E.T.
Not a Doodle, but an Easter egg
Google has a fun way to celebrate Atari Breakout's 37th anniversary.
We all know that E.T. for the Atari 2600 was a terrible no-good awful game
). But could it be that our received wisdom about the cartridge is just wrong
Yeah, probably not ... But to be fair, follow this in-depth guide to hacking the ET ROM
and you, too, can transform the game into something far more play-worthy (and don't worry, you can still turn ET into its ninja form
Atari VCS Demo 2012 - Liquid Candy by Noice [slyt]
VCS or 2600? Ah, who cares about nomenclature, just enjoy. If anyone knows how the heck this is done on a VCS, please comment.
But the golden age was destined to be a very short one. Walter Day told writer Tristan Donovan, author of the book Replay: The History of Video Games, that the industry was "off the rails by" 1981, opening more arcades and ordering more machines than its players could ever support. By early 1982, cracks were already starting to show in the newly flourishing industry: that $400 a day machine, Time Magazine reported, was often "sucker bait, dangled to obscure the dreary truths that markets are becoming saturated and that dud games... bring in no money at all."
The Inside Story Of Pong - On Nov. 29, 1972, a crude table-tennis arcade game in a garish orange cabinet was delivered to bars and pizza parlors around California, and a multi-billion-dollar industry was born. Here's how that happened, direct from the freaks and geeks who invented a culture and paved the way for today's tech moguls.
"The original Pac-Man
for the Atari 2600
was quite the disaster and though it did sell a few million copies many would argue
it was the beginning of Atari's end. And rightly so.
Dennis Debro's brand new and properly indie Pac-Man 4k
, on the other hand, hopes to make things right by cramming a way more faithful post of the original pill-chomper arcade game to the very same and now very retro machine
Over at the AtariAge forums, user Sprybug has been coding an Atari 2600 Super Mario Bros. clone
to run on the Harmony Cartridge
. Some screenshots
. The game running on the cartridge
. The game running in an emulator
. And some previous discussion
on the difficulty of programming for the Atari 2600.
This great Flickr album of classic video game advertisements
is a nostalgia overdose for those of us who read video-game magazines in the 80s and 90s. From classic ads like the "Genesis Does What Nintendon't" ad
to ads for Pac Man
, The Simpsons
, Super Mario Brothers 2
and ye olde Atari Lynx
, this helps you relive the glory days of the medium, when even the ads were entertaining. And for those of you who never got to experience gaming magazines in their heyday, check out this entire copy of the first issue on Nintendo Power
(PDF) from way back in 1988. And then get off my lawn.
Atari, the first successful arcade video game company, would have been 40 years old today. The blog Arcade Heroes takes the opportunity to look back over 40 years of arcade gaming (from Atari and other companies) with flyers and video. Part 1 (1970s & 80s)
- Part 2 (1990s to present)
. (WARNING: huge pages ahead with lots of flash videos.)
Pretty Eight Machine
- an 8-Bit rendition of the Nine Inch Nails album.
Porting a 30 year-old vector arcade game to an obsolete 33 year-old home game platform: "Star Castle 2600". In 1981 a young Howard Scott Warshaw, left his first programming job at HP for a more interesting job at Atari. His first assignment was to create an Atari 2600 conversion of the vector coin op game Star Castle... After evaluating the arcade game and the console hardware he came to the conclusion "that a decent version couldn’t be done".
Thirty-one years later, former Atari employee D. Scott Williamson has finally ported Star Castle to the 2600. (via MAKE
Behold the gAtari 2600. An Australian musician performing under the pseudonym cTrix specializes in creating chiptunes using a combination of games consoles from 1977 - 1992, including a Commodore 64, Amiga 500, a clear-cased Gameboy, and an Atari 2600. The latter is possibly the most striking setup, incorporating the Atari (running custom-written sequencing software) into an oversized guitar body, with a fretboard packed with Boss stompboxes and a great pun as a name — gAtari.
"A day in the FBI was never like this before! You are Special Agent Dale Cooper and you’ve found yourself trapped inside of the Black Lodge, a surreal and dangerous place between worlds." Black Lodge is an Atari 2600-style action game for PC and Mac, created by Jak Locke as a love letter to both retro gaming and Twin Peaks
. [more inside]
What do you mean you don't remember Olegco Gaming? They were like the best developer for the Atari! They had classics, like Cool Beens, and Ghost Garden Man. Don't tell me you never played Baron of the SkeleBone Zone! Well, you take a look at all of their games on their archive site.
Now try to be a little more knowledgeable before we talk about video games again... thanks.
Trash cans, landfills, and incinerators. Erasure, deletion, and obsolescence. These words could describe what has happened to the various building blocks of the video game industry in countries around the world. These building blocks consist of video game source code, the actual computer hardware used to create a particular video game, level layout diagrams, character designs, production documents, marketing material, and more.
These are just some elements of game creation that are gone -- never to be seen again. These elements make up the home console, handheld, PC and arcade games we've played. The only remnant of a particular game may be its name, or its final published version, since the possibility exists that no other physical copy of its creation remains.
As a community of video game developers, publishers, and players, we must begin asking ourselves some difficult but inevitable questions. Some believe there is no point in preserving a video game, arguing that games are short-term entertainment, while others disagree with this statement entirely, believing the industry is in a preservation crisis.
Where Games Go To Sleep: The Game Preservation Crisis [more inside]
iFixit is well known for posting teardowns and repair guides for modern hardware (like the new iPod Shuffle
.) To celebrate the addition of game console guides to their site, they did teardowns of five classic and not-so-classic game consoles: Magnavox Odyssey 100
, RCA Studio II
, Atari 2600
, Nintendo Famicom
, Nintendo Virtual Boy
. Marvel at the 1.78 MHz processors and the 128 bytes of RAM you got for $200.
The Art of Videogames
, a Smithsonian American Art Museum
exhibit set to open in March 2012, has been featured on CNN today.
But you don't have to wait until 2012 to get your fix of gaming history. CNN has let the cat out of the scanner: our very own Jason Scott
) has finished GET LAMP
. It's now shipping
! [more inside]
Two of the best 8-bit games ever made, in the elder days when Electronic Arts
was the best gaming company around. Play them again in modern re-creations.
(NSFW) is a wearable haptic device for controlling video gameplay based on realtime male masturbation. Construction photographs
, makers of fine Macintosh software
, commissions an illustrator
to work with the concept "What if we were around in 1982, and our apps were early Atari 2600 games?" Awesomeness ensues.
's suite of Java emulators allows smooth, in-browser playback of literally thousands
of old-school video games: 517 Atari titles
, 148 for DOS
, 636 Game Boy games
(and 410 for Game Boy Color
), 2,019 (!) NES titles
, 238 GameGear games
, 802 Sega Genesis titles
, and 284 for the Sega Master System
. Highlights include Space Invaders
, Super Mario Bros.
, The Legend of Zelda
, Zero Wing
, Duke Nukem
, Sonic the Hedgehog
, Earthworm Jim
, and Metal Gear Solid
. Use the search function
to find your favorites! You can also register an account to save games on emulators that support it. Make sure to check the purple bar below each game for control info and links to alternate emulators in case the default one is buggy or slow.
The newly launched Atari.com includes the Atari Arcade
, wherein you may play Adventure, Asteroids, Battlezone, Crystal Castles, Lunar Lander and Yars' Revenge in your browser.
"So why bring up this sore spot in 2009, roughly 16 years after the Jaguar's ill-fated launch? Because as an artifact of video game history, the Jaguar speaks volumes about where we've been, where we are, and where we're going." Linking the past, present, and future: The Atari Jaguar as console artifact [more inside]
(NSFW) The Angry Video Game Nerd
(taking a cue from seanbaby's lead
) has been producing video reviews of some of the most notoriously awful NES games, from Top Gun
to Bible Games
. (Can't miss: The Power Glove
.) Not content to go after one system, he's upgraded his range to take on other colossal failures like the Atari Jaguar
, Superman 64
, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
(the movie). His newest series of videos, You Know What's Bullshit?
, takes on everyday nuances like DVD box sets
. He may be vulgar and his vignettes silly, but damn straight he's got a point
. Enjoy all his archived videos here
, spanning five years of obscenity-laced love/hate for his greatest passions.
In 1977, Nolan Bushnell
allowed Gene Landrum
to bring Chuck E. Cheese [yt]
to life as a family-friendly
access point to Atari games
. This, perhaps, explains
. [more inside]
Homesoft's Disk Images.
354 disks full of 8-bit Atari games. Click on game titles for screenshots
. [more inside]
is a veritable treasure trove of 80's (and 70's) goodness. TV commercials
, and of course the poetry of Mr. Leonard Nimoy
. The Youtube channel
alone is worth the price of admission-- Tobor
! Diet Rite
"So I hit up a garage sale over the weekend and bought a genuine, working-condition Atari 2600, with a huge stack of games nearly mint in their boxes, for a song. I thought I’d scan the box covers and give you all a look back into the fun of yesteryear