I'm old enough to have had a Magnavox Odyssey video game system when I was a kid. My brother owned one of those mini arcade cabinets from Coleco (Pac Man), and we'd take turns running the map, swallowing dots and chasing ghosts to beat each others' high score for hours.
I never had an Atari like my friend down the block, or a Commodore 64 (but my cousin did).
That's why spending time at the Video Game History Museum, plopped down smack in the middle of the show floor at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last week in Los Angeles felt like coming home.
Enjoy these photos of some of video games' long history (sorry, Apple fans, there wasn't a Pippin on display), and I'll try not to feel too old.
This is one of the first arcade games I can remember playing. It was released in 1980 by Atari, and later licensed to Sega for European countries. The controls consist of a round ball that you spin with your palm to move a crosshair across the screen, and a button to fire laser beams at the missiles coming to destroy your city. It gets frantic as the missiles come in from all directions.
My very first exposure to video games came from my dad, who came home with a new TV in the early 1970s. This Magnavox television had a video game built right in — you’d plug the weird controllers with the one button and a radial dial on top into the set, and get to play one of three Pong variants, each with a slow or fast speed. It was crazy fun, at least until my neighbor got an Atari.
The Atari Mindlink was never released, though it was supposed to come out in 1984 for the Atari 2600. It was developed to read your head muscles (not actually your mind) and move stuff in the games developed for it, Bionic Breakthrough and Mind Maze. The games never even came out, either. Test players got headaches, apparently, moving their eyebrows around to play these uninteresting games.
I never had one of these pretty things, but I wish I had; it looks like it’s right out of a sci-fi movie. Bambino’s Superstar Football is way cooler than the one I had. I mean, just look at that thing: I want to play it in an egg chair.
My brother had the PacMan version of this amazing little Mini Arcade game and boy did we play the crap out of it. I still have sense memories of lying flat on my stomach and gripping the tiny little joystick in my hand as I anticipated every twist and turn of the never-changing map. The ghosts were my nemesis, the dots, my salvation. Apparently, Coleco sold 3 million units of these bad boys in 1982.
The kids playing this game last week at E3 all looked up and cheered when another old dude walked by and said, “That’s the best game, ever!” Put out for the arcade by Sega in 1989, it’s loosely based on the film of the same name and endorsed by MJ himself. This is still a pretty cool game.
Here’s the original wearable game controller, the Nintendo Power Glove. Made by Mattel and released for the Nintendo entertainment system in 1989, it was supposed to be the future of video gaming, much like 3D and VR are today. Nintendo pushed the peripheral in its 1989 film, The Wizard, giving us the best line ever: “I love the Power Glove. It's so bad!”
I didn’t even know this thing existed for real until last week, but given my own name, I sure wish I had. Released in 1985 as a novelty toy to save Nintendo from the video game crash of 1983, it only worked with two games and never really took off. It's still cute as all heck, though.
Sega’s answer to the super successful Nintendo Entertainment System, the Master System came out in 1986. Even though it’s generally considered a better technical system than the NES, the Sega Master System didn’t quite overthrown Nintendo’s juggernaut, most likely due to mascots like Mario and Link. It did, however, become the basis for the handheld Game Gear, and saw the first release of Sega’s own popular mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, in 1991.
These fine young gentlemen are engaging in a round of Virtua Cop 2, a light-gun arcade game that moves the player’s characters through a predetermined route, asking you to shoot the bad guys as they appear, like a moving shooting gallery. There are still games in arcades to this day that play almost identically, just with better graphics and sound. These guys were having a blast, though.
OMG y’all, it’s CultCast time. This week we bring to thee some more cool iOS 8 features you didn’t hear about at WWDC, plus we’ll tell you all about the new time-lapse video feature we’ve been playing with. Then, with rumors swirling that fall will bring us an iWatch, we have to wonder what features and price point would make us want one adorning our wrists. All that plus Apple’s marketing arm gets major renovations, and in honor of this week’s E3, we say why Nintendo absolutely needs to bring Mario to iOS to survive!
Cheerfully guffaw your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the uproarious good time commence.
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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was almost better at Tetris than building computers. Photo: Leonora Giovanazzi
Before fingers throbbed from marathon Candy Crush sagas, before Flappy Bird zoomed across iPad screens from Palo Alto to Manila, there was Tetris — and Stephen Gary Wozniak was its king.
Thirty years ago today, a Russian programmer named Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov created the massively popular and horrifically addictive game that became the first U.S.S.R. video game export to the United States. In a recent Gizmodo article celebrating Tetris’ popularity, Woz jumped into the comments to wax nostalgic about his love for Game Boy Tetris and shot of a little brag on his wizard-like skills at the game.
Just how damn good was he? I’ll let the champ speak for himself:
This video by game video YouTube user NicksplosionFX is perhaps the most awesome thing you’re going to see all day.
It’s a shot by shot recreation of the stunningly fantastic Game of Thrones television show introduction sequence done in the style of Nintendo’s classic Super Mario Brothers video game.
Whether your a Game of Thrones fan, a classic Nintendo nerd, or a combination of the two, you’ll love that the video maker also has a side by side comparison of the two videos (below) so you can critique his recreation with all your righteous nerd fervor.
Nintendo won’t bring its popular game franchises to iOS, and Apple won’t allow emulators in the App Store. In order to play titles like Super Mario and Zelda on your iPhone, then, you have to look at unofficial alternatives. GBA4iOS was one of the most popular — but after its creators received a DMCA notice from Nintendo this week, it is no more.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Game Developers Conference is an odd beast, less a trade show and more a topical conference that caters to the folks actually making the games you while away the hours with on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, plus that console under your TV.
Cult of Mac will be on the scene when a gaming tribe of 23,000 comes to town — that’s about the population of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. — and here’s what you can expect.
The House That Mario Built isn’t any closer to bringing Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong, and the others to iOS anytime soon, but what would Nintendo’s classic games look like if they were originally built for iOS?
Rather than waiting for Flappy Mario to hit the App Store, Red Bull decided to re imagine some of our favorite Nintendo games with a iOS twist that mashes up the likes of Donkey Kong with Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga with Dr. Mario, and Nintendo’s own Temple Run knock-off starring Link.
This week, Oasis Management founder Seth Fischer sent a letter to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, once again demanding that the House That Mario Built release games for the iPhone, iPad and other mobiel platforms.
Supporting Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and original Game Boy games, GBA4iOS is the most straightforward and best-looking way to bring nostalgic Nintendo action to iOS 7 — and you don’t even need to jailbreak your iOS device to use it.
All that is required is to open up Testut’s dedicated GBA4iOS website — which greets users with the Apple-esque message, “Game Boy Advance, meet iOS. Again.” From there, simply tap “download” and you’ll be tracking wild Pokemon, or leaping on mushrooms with Mario, in no time.