Lifespan [1983]

There's a YouTube playlist I quite like called "Art Games Have Always Existed." I only have one problem with it: "Always" is a big word. It's the foundational premise of this blog that all games are art and it's high time we started treating them all like it, but the "art game" is something entirely … Continue reading Lifespan [1983]

ET [1982] + Pitfall [1982]

The Video Game Crash Of 1983 wasn't. It wasn't a video game crash nor even "the Atari Crash," it was a crash of the entire North American consumer computing industry, from Atari to Radio Shack to IBM. Every American computing firm fell prey to, yes, offering a slate of sub-par products, many with confusing naming … Continue reading ET [1982] + Pitfall [1982]

Lunar Lander [1979]

Lunar Lander [1979], at first blush, seems an incongruous fit for the arcade. It must be intentional as an attempted marketing strategy for floorspace in the ever-more competitive competitive arcade ecosystem. It's austere, maybe serious, adult, even intellectual. Slow, certainly. Methodical: Twitchy, nick-of-time reactions will get you nowhere here, you need to commit to medium-term … Continue reading Lunar Lander [1979]

Magnavox Odyssey [1971] + Pong [1972]

The most famous Magnavox Odyssey game is Table Tennis. It was the direct inspiration for Pong, and there is an infamous lawsuit decided in Magnavox's favor to that effect, which became famously the first of decades of copyright trolling putting up a hundreds-of-millions tollbooth on the mere concept of video games at home. If we … Continue reading Magnavox Odyssey [1971] + Pong [1972]