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A Very COMPLETE history of home videogames & computers. Covering four (+) decades.
There is something NEW here for everyone from the novice to the classic gamer.

By Michael Thomasson of Good Deal Games

Puckman Pockimon:
The story of two unlicensed and abused intellectual properties mashed into one.

by Michael Thomasson

As with most lucrative forms of business, the coin-operated video game industry had unknowingly invited an unwanted guest – PIRACY! While it started with clones of Atari's PONG, it exploded during the heydays of the eighties, and despite the decline in popularity, still reared its ugly head come the new millennium. Backtrack two decades ago to the year 1990 and you may have found the unlikely marriage of two of gamings greatest – Pac-Man and Pokémon...

The Pioneer LaserActive
by Michael Thomasson

The LaserActive was an incredibly expensive console which, while being a great modern-day collectible, was late to the party when released in 1993 by Pioneer. It was a laserdisc-based gaming platform that had the ability to overlay 16-bit graphics over high-quality video just as the laserdisc format was breathing its last gasp.

SegaSonic the Hedgehog
Coin-Op Arcade Game

by Michael Thomasson

You may be surprised to learn that one of the least well-known Sonic games may actually be one of the best. Marking Sonic's first entry into the coin-op scene, SegaSonic the Hedgehog Arcade paved the way for Sonic's only other arcade outing – Sonic Fighters. SegaSonic the Hedgehog was released only in Japan arcades in June of 1993. It did make it across the ocean unofficially to other areas such as the United Kingdom, where Sega itself imported the game for its Sega World arcade in London...

Get Your KICKS From QIX!
by Michael Thomasson

The screen flickers “Your marker controlled with joystick. To draw stix press fast or slow. Claim areas by joining walls with stix.“ Or so the first three simple sentences of the original Qix attract mode boldly stated. It continues, “Scores based on area. Fast score 250. Slow score 500. ”Ten words on how I am to be rated. Already a sense of urgency is mounting within. However there is more – a SURPRISE... “

NEC's PC-FX History
by Michael Thomasson

While NEC's Turbografx-16 was a minor player in the United States, its Japanese counterpart, the PC Engine, was a force to be reckoned with overseas. It gave Nintendo real competition and outsold even the mighty Sega. So, when NEC announced that they were releasing a sequel to the PC-Engine (TG-16) there were high expectations for the PC-FX console.

Rom Graphic Hacking
How toTinker with NES Games

by Dustin Gulley

ROM hacking is a fun, and possibly illegal way to breathe life back into those stale ROMs idly sitting on your hard drive twiddling their thumbs in boredom. In fact, you can take the worst game ever created; I'm talking about 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' of course, and turn it into an enjoyable afternoon. The majority of ROM hacking is done by editing graphics using a tile editor, and editing code using a hex editor. Since this article is meant for beginners, I'm going to discuss how to edit the graphics in a ROM. Editing graphics is pretty simple, and provides quicker results, then learning how to edit hex. However, if you really want to alter a ROM, you will need to learn how to edit the hexadecimal code.

Ode to Gary Garcia
by Michael Thomasson

This past November the classic gaming community lost yet another icon, musician Gary Garcia. The brief history printed here is only a small portion of what made the man who was Gary Garcia.

Play Like a Girl
The Rise of Female Gamers

by R.L. Fielding

An ever-widening audience of female electronic game players is bringing new meaning to the phrase, “You play like a girl.” Despite the long-standing stereotype that dedicated electronic gamers are young and male, a number of studies have shown that adult women are giving the boys a run for their money, particularly in the online games arena.

A Glance at the History of
Interactive, Educational Videogames

by Maya Yoviene

The start of the educational videogame market is as difficult to pinpoint as the history of videogames themselves. Part of this difficulty stems from the meaning behind the words "educational", "interactive", and "game". These terms seem to mean different things to different people; sometimes they are even incompatible concepts. With any definition of the terms, most people will agree there are good and bad educational games available to consumers. Some designers concentrate on educational games for consoles that are already present in the community while other companies concentrate on education right from the making of their console or company.

The History of Laserdic Gaming
by Lori Gilbert

Technology in the 19th century paved the way for the commercial video game market the world knows today. This is a society of computers, Internet, satellite navigation and MP3 music systems. Electronics are ever changing and with every new invention, an older one paved the way. David Paul Gregg invented the laserdisc technology in 1958. It was used widely for its supreme audio and video advantages over the VHS tape, which was the standard for the time. Video games also started to use the laserdisc to create milestone games. Although the technology did not catch on as well as it should have, the few games that were created were essential to the further development of the industry as a whole.

Trip Hawkins:
The Man Behind Electronic Arts,
The 3DO Company and More

by Zach Kelpy

Do you ever wonder who was responsible for some of the video games that you still play today? I personally have always wondered who the creator of John Madden Football was or who exactly was the driving force behind the all powerful Electronic Arts company. The answer to both of these questions is simple: Trip Hawkins. Ralph Baer may be the father of the home video games and Nolan Bushnell may be the father of the video game industry, but the video game industry we know today would not be the same without Mr. Trip Hawkins. As a matter of fact, Trip was voted #15 for the "Top 26 Fascinating Entrepreneurs" by The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs.

Saved by the Bell
(or rather, Algebra 2)

A brief excerpt from my
World War II experiences

by Ralph Baer

The Inventor of the home videogame reveals some amazing wartime stories, and more...

I went overseas in July of 1943, just one of a group od about twenty-five G.I.s who had been through a Military Intelligence training course in Camp Ritchie in Maryland. Our great leader was Hans Mauksch, a PFC in this man's Army but an experienced junior officer some years earlier in the Austrian army.

None of us lacked for nerve so it wasn't surprising that we were able to talk ourselves into the position of cadre, in charge of teaching certain subjects to the thousands of G.I.s in the British Salisbury Plains staging area where we were located. The subjects we taught were recognition of German uniforms, weapons and tactics, the handling of their most common weapons and something about the Nazi psychology that we were going to meet head-on in the not-too-distant future...

My thoughts of
Nintendo's GameBoy

by Chris Buryta

When I think back on my childhood, a few things come to mind: sports, scouts, hanging out with friends. Among all these thoughts, it's almost impossible to avoid bringing up Nintendo's Gameboy sometime or another. Why? Well, it was small and easy to use. Anywhere you went there was always a possibility that you might run into a person with another Gameboy, allowing you to check out the others games and possibly go head-to-head in a two-player game. The battery life was awesome, and if you had an extra battery pack or a screen light, you could play anywhere anytime...

The Mysteries of
Atari's SwordQuest Series

by Stephen Hlavaty

In its true essence, the idea of the Swordquest game series is a great one. Released by Atari for the 2600, Swordquest was a large scale of contests that consisted of 4 games that would each crown a champion, with a grand finale with all four champions vying for a grand prize.

The four games began with what was originally known as "Adventure II". Atari was looking for a sequel to its popular "Adventure" game. In 1982, Swordquest: Earthworld was released for the Atari 2600. As was the same for the other games, the grand prize for Earthworld was valued at $25,000. The specific prize for this game was a talisman. "The Talisman was made of 18K solid gold, studded with 12 diamonds and the birthstones of the twelve zodiac signs."

The Legacy of Zork
and its Ties to Infocom

by Camille N. Moreno

It is impossible to explore the history of Infocom without first examining the game that started it all, Zork. Were it not for Zork and its programmers, Infocom as a company would not be the same as it was. The Zork series was the first electronic version of interactive fiction to really take off, despite it not being the first made or developed, and despite the unfortunate fact that Zork is relatively unknown amongst the young gaming population today, there are still those who remember the days of grues and maze adventures. But for the rest of you, that which do not recognize the name "Zork," you had better read this article, lest you be eaten by a grue.

The History of the
Home Video Game Console

by Ion Hatzithomas

The Magnavox Odyssey is the first home video game console, predating the Atari PONG home consoles by three years. The Odyssey was designed by Ralph Baer, who had a working prototype finished by 1968. This prototype is affectionately known as the "Brown Box" to classic video game hobbyists. Unlike most video game consoles, the Odyssey is analog rather than digital, which makes its invention all the more amazing in spite of its rather crude graphics...

I Love the 80's
Super Mario Brothers Rant

by Anthony McClintock

Remember when you had to blow on a cartridge for 10 minutes just to play a game? Yep- those were the 80's. Take a time warp with us, as we recollect memories of Super Mario Brothers 1-3 for NES.

Those of us that were born in the early 80's have fond memories of sitting in front of the television to play Super Mario Brothers. The whole time we played, our moms yelled at us to go outside and experience the "world". Eventually we were forced outside. After a few hours outside, we were brought back inside because it is not nice to shave the neighbor's cat. After this, we just sat back down and played Mario. Everyone loved Super Mario Bros. because it was one of the first games where the main character vaguely resembled a person-shaped object.

Final Fantasy Series
by Noel Brady

Back in 1987, there was a small software company called Square. At that time it was known for a nifty arcade game called Rad Racer, which had been a hit on Nintendo's cutting-edge NES console.

The boffins at Square had packed an entire world on a 2Mb NES cartridge. Players were transported to a mystical land where the powers of the four elements were bound and controlled by four crystal orbs. However, the orbs were fading and an evil darkness was spreading across the globe. Vicious pirates ruled the seas, evil creatures crept through the shadows and demons stirred in the depths of the earth. The ancient prophecy of Lukahn was coming to pass, and only the coming of the four heroes he foretold, known as the light warriors, could save the world from the evil forces. When the mysterious Garland kidnapped the daughter of the King of Coneria, the dream city, four warriors were summoned to his court. Each young hero held a strange orb they had owned since childhood.

My Three Trials (Part One)
Experiences as an Expert Witness
in the Electronic Games Industry

by Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel


Atari turned its litigious eye on Magnavox, whose Odyssey2 had just launched its own maze-chase game, K.C. Munchkin. Flush with its victories over several smaller publishers, Atari's legal nostrils flared further when it appeared that the O2 game would actually hit the holiday market ahead of Atari's problem-plagued Pac-Man for the 2600 (as fans of the system no doubt recall, Atari's version of the coin-op classic looked as if it had been based on the adventures of Blinky the ghost, rather than Pac-Man the gobbler). Thus, the dogs of war were unleashed and Magnavox' entry into the maze-chase race was legally challenged...

My Three Trials (Part Two)
Experiences as an Expert Witness
in the Electronic Games Industry

by Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel


On my second trip through the litigation sausage grinder, therefore, I once again pushed my luck, tempted fate and tugged real hard on Superman's cape by cavalierly volunteering my services to the Lewis Galoob Toy Company at the 1990 Summer CES (SCES) in Chicago.

My Three Trials (Part Three)
Experiences as an Expert Witness
in the Electronic Games Industry

by Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel


By 1993, the last thing I was looking for was an expert witness gig facing off against yet another of the most popular and powerful software developers in the business. So of course I wound up working the expert witness deal for tiny Data East against the all-powerful Capcom, whose Street Fighter II had ignited a revolution which made 2-D fighting games the dominant genre in the electronic gaming world.

My Trip to Meet Ralph Baer,
the Inventor of the Home Videogame

by JoAnn Thomasson

In the opinion of most classic gamers, I would probably qualify as a "non-gamer". Sure, I grew up with the Intellivision and have attended a Classic Gaming Expo with my husband, but I certainly haven't kept up with classic gaming much. Of course, being married to Michael of Good Deal Games, my involvement in classic gaming has certainly increased. And it is through him that I first heard of Ralph Baer. I have to admit I didn't know much about the Brown Box or Ralph's place in classic gaming history, but as soon as Michael mentioned that he was the creator of Simon, my interest was piqued...

Coin-Op History:
Double Dragon Series

by Michael Thomasson

The immensely popular side-scrolling beat-em up Double Dragon has formed a true legacy. The initial game was released in 1987 by Technos in Japan, and licensed to Taito for manufacture and distribution in the United States and Europe. The original game concept, in addition to the character names, were loosely inspired on the Bruce Lee film, 'Enter the Dragon.'

Double Dragon

Martial arts masters and brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee attempt to rescue Billy's girlfriend Marian from her abductors known as the Shadow Warriors. The game was playable by two players simultaneously, and in addition to using martial arts moves, the heroes could also use items found in their environment such as knives, whips, baseball bats, sticks of dynamite, boulders and oil drums. Double Dragon contained a shock ending that reveals that the leader of the Shadow Warriors, known as Big Boss Willy, was none other than Billy's own brother, Jimmy Lee...

Coin-Op History: Space Invaders
by Michael Thomasson

A barrage of heavily armed military soldiers march towards you in formation, with rifles pointed and gunning for you while trying to cross the screen. Sound familiar? Well, in 1978 this was the initial idea designed and programmed by engineer Toshihiro Nishikado which evolved into one of the most influential videogames of all-time, Space Invaders. Since it was politically discouraged to harm humans at the time, the army onslaught was replaced with alien aggressors looking for global domination...

Activision Patch Gallery
by Michael Thomasson

Activision operated a fantstic marketing program in the 80's to promote the sale of their software for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Colecovision and the Mattel Intellivision. To obtain any of the coveted Activision patches, a player would need to play a particular game, reach a pre-determined score, and mail a photograph prooving the accomplishment to Activision...

Psychoanalyzing 2600 Characters
by Chris Federico

Video game characters, on the other hand, do not have cerebral cortexes or any of the other elements that enable humans to act of their own free will, seek personal versions of happiness or even get nervous before engaging in gunfights. No matter how much personality a silicon protagonist might have, he's built according to the mathematical logic of computer code and he's programmed to act in one particular way according to every circumstance possible in his game. So we can have a little fun figuring out the intrinsic motives of those most primitive creatures in the world of classic games: VCS characters.

New Games
by James Eldred

The Playstation 2 is the most powerful video game system on the planet. It is faster and has better graphics than any other system ever made. In fact, many consider it to be greatest video game system of all time - Just don't tell that to Mark Shaker.
"The first video game I bought was a Vectrex in 1982, and I've been playing it eversince." Mark said. The Vectrex was released in 1982 and quickly faded into obscurity...

How to Refurbish your
Nintendo Entertainment System

by Dan Mahlendorf

The NES is a great system that was plagued with one small problem: cartridges didn't always want to work right away.  While this problem was remedied with the top load NES 2, most everyone has the original front loading model. For many people who own a NES (or for those who just obtained one), the typical solution of cleaning the cartridges or the deck may not seem to be working anymore.  What this document intends to show you is how to breathe life back into your NES so you may be able to actually enjoy playing it, rather than cursing at it when a game doesn't load.

When is a Combat Not a Combat?
by Lee Seitz for Classic Gamer Magazine

Once your classic cartridge collection reaches a certain size, you'll discover you're finding few new cartridges at thrift stores. In order to "get their fix," so to speak, many collectors start collecting label variations to keep their number of "finds" up. "Label variations" simply means different types of labels on the same game. For Colecovision cartridges, this might mean the difference between the labels saying the cart is "for Colecovision" and saying it's "for Colecovision & ADAM." For Intellivision, it's probably the difference between the colorful Mattel labels and the black and white Intellivision, Inc. labels, which also featured slight name changes to avoid licensing fees (e.g. "Football" instead of "NFL Football"). For the Atari 2600, it's more complicated...

The Story Behind
the REAL First Issue Cover of Electronic Gaming Magazine

by Michael Thomasson and Bill Kunkel

-- the kid had that "I'm getting zapped" look all right, but it wasn't a a good kind of zapping. So it was re-drawn, but I had to go to the summer CES in Chicago in June '81 armed with nothing but the promise of a game magazine and these original cover slicks with the kid looking very weird and the ad info etc.

The Rise & Fall of Vectors
by Syzygy Magazine & Good Deal Games

...what is known, however, is that Rosenthal possesed the copyright to his vector display, which he called the "Vectorbeam" monitor, and which he licensed to Cinematronics for each Space Wars game produced.

Totally Retro
The Louisville Courier-Journal Newspaper

Forget the Sony PlayStation 2 and its many wondrous features. For many people, real video-gaming fun can still be had by firing up the old Atari system and blasting away in Space Invaders.

How to Modify an Atari 2600 Paddle Controller for use with the Vectrex
By Rob Mitchell

This article describes how to make a "pong" type controller for the Vectrex from a standard Atari paddle.

The Coleco Story
By Ralph Baer (w/ permission)

... Why the double-barreled approach? There was a fire burning at Coleco! They needed the Sanders fire brigade, but fast! ... Since Coleco had some 30 million dollar's worth of Telstar inventory sitting in their Connecticut warehouse ready for distribution, there was panic in Hartford!

How to ReProgram Atari VCS 2600 Games - the EASY Way!
By Orphaned Computers & Game Systems

You think of yourself as a real VCS fan- a true collector. Perhaps, instead, you are just a casual VCS player...

Glowing Blue Reasons to Collect
By Michael Thomasson of Good Deal Games

...Many of us simply remember fond times with our family and friends in the safety of our living rooms. We know that inside each of those identical boxes, with it's wires running into the back of our television set glowing blue in the sinking twilight, that there were people with stori


Atari's I, Robot Coin-Op
by Michael Thomasson

In the year 1983, the Cold War was still in the minds of American citizens and tensions between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, were elevated. Brewing since 1945, the fear of Communist invasion, espionage and the threat of nuclear Armageddon made for many great stories from Hollywood. Cobbled together with domestic paranoia, I, Robot combines both and propel the amalgamation into videogame culture.

How Playing Video Games
is Good for your Brain

by Tim Frank Anderson

You may not believe it, but video games have existed since the 1950's. Since their inception, video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment for millions of people worldwide. Despite their immense age and popularity, a debate still rages as to whether video games provide any real value and substance to our lives, or whether they are simply tools to dumb our brains and promote bad habits and side effects. This argument has been debated for various other activities too such as watching TV so its nothing groundbreaking!

The Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG)
by Michael Thomasson

The Strong Museum of Play includes over 282,000 square feet of video games, board games, and more. From Videotopia, to the eGameRevolution the museum is home to The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) which stores over 60,000 video game artifacts and memorabilia. The facility features a full-size vintage arcade and now a pinball hall!

For-Play's Star Trek Coin-Op
by Michael Thomasson

Foreplay means different things to different individuals, but regardless of your interpretation, there was not much romance between FOR-PLAY Manufacturing and the Paramount Studios. In late 1972, FOR-PLAY thought that they might be able to turn an easy profit by merging two entities - neither of which was their own to exploit.

Of Mouse Traps and Crossbows:
The Exidy Story

by David Ellis

When you think of the coin-op video game manufacturers from the classic era, there are certain names that immediately come to mind: Atari, Midway, Williams, Nintendo. These high-profile companies filled the arcades of the 70s and 80s with all kinds of fun and innovative games that dazzled the senses and challenged the reflexes of gamers all over the country and all over the world. The sheer number of coin-op hits produced by these companies is certainly one reason for their continued name recognition-Centipede, Asteroids,Missile Command, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Joust, Robotron, Defender,Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, and Mario Bros. continue to be favorites among players and collectors today and, indeed, many of these games have been reproduced in modern incarnations that can still be found in bars and arcades today.

The Healthy Benefits of
Online Games

by R.L. Fielding

The universal appeal of online games is astounding. Research shows that one in four internet users visit online game websites, bringing the annual total to more than 217 million online game players worldwide. Online game communities are populated by people from both sexes and all age groups. Everywhere, people are spending time playing strategy, board and trivia games. But is all this game play healthy? Yes – probably in more ways than you think.

The Man versus the House of Evil
by William Bartlett

Horror based video games, also known as survival horror, can be defined as "a prominent video game genre in which the player has to survive an onslaught of undead or creepy opponents, usually in claustrophobic environments in a third-person perspective. Horror film elements are used liberally. The player is typically armed, but not nearly as well-armed as the player in a shooter game. The player's goal is generally to escape from an isolated house or town that is inhabited mostly by zombies and monsters through shooting and puzzle solving." However, this was not the case for the beginning of the genre that can be seen in the late 70's and early 80's. This is the definition used today since the birth of the Resident Evil series. The beginning of the genera can be seen in the late 70's going into the 80' with titles such as Castlevania, Splatterhouse, and It Came from the Desert...

Atari Based Comic Books
by Teresa Murphy

In the beginning there were books and then there was T.V. Then a brilliant man invented the technology for what we now call video games. However he was not the only brilliant man, there was another, the man who invented comic books. So wouldn't you think that these two beacons of the 20th century would join forces and make a revolutionary invention of VIDEO GAME COMIC BOOKS! Well, they did, even though it was not as revolutionary as I made it seem.

Atari joined forces with DC Comics in the early 80's to develop several incarnations of comics based on Atari characters and games...

The Maturing of Electronic Arts
by Tom Kallenbach

Electronic Arts or EA is one of the biggest companies in the videogame industry. EA is synomonous with video games and it has gradually grown into almost every household in the world. EA was founded by a young man named Trip Hawkins. Trip was originally employed by Apple Computers, but he left after only 4 years with them to pursue other endeavors. In 1982, Trip raised five million dollars and founded Amazin' Software, which was later switched to Electronic Arts, to explore the entertainment potentials of PC's...

by Nick Topolski

Starcade was taped before a live audience at the Bridge Studios in San Francisco, California. It was created by the husband and wife team of James and Mavis Arthur (hence the company name "JM Productions"). Starcade was a game show where contestants compete by answering trivia questions about video games and by playing video games. The show aired on television stations across the United States from 1982-1984, generally in a Saturday morning or early afternoon time slot on TBS. Mark Richards hosted the TBS series and Geoff Edwards hosted the syndicated series. The announcer of Starcade was Kevin McMahon. The show featured the most popular video games of that time. Today, the games of Starcade are considered the classics of the video game industry. It was television's first video game show ever.

Fantasy to Reality:
A History of Rock Music
and Video Games

by Eric Kurtz

Music and video games have always been incorporated to make the game either a smash or a flop. Halo's monk like hymns and heavy guitar riffs really make you "feel" the game, while playing. So what happens when a game is centered on the actual musician? Surprisingly the game seems to flourish when the musician releases it when the band is in high demand. The gameplay is thrown out the window and yet the gamers keep playing it. Constantly throwing reality to the wind, rock and roll games center around a fictional setting that tries to draw the gamer into playing it...

Hollywood and the
Video Game Industry

by Emily Hurlburt

In the mid-1990s a trend hit Hollywood that would forever change the movie industry. Video games had swept the nation by flooding arcades, homes and the Internet with gaming capabilities. Because gaming was so popular at the time, people involved in the movie industry sought film opportunities with popular video games. Many of the films based on games were low budget and did not win over video games fans as much as the filmmakers had hoped. However, some films in this genre generated cult followings and grossed a large amount of money. Aside from the disappointment that many of these movies caused, this new trend has led to advancements in technology that continue to change the entertainment industry today.

The Portability of Gumpei Yokoi
by David Duquette

Gumpei Yokoi was probably one of the most important and influential people of the video game industry. His innovations changed the world of videogames as well as influenced a generation. His electronic inventions not only moved a card company into the lucrative world of videogames, they also helped to revolutionize an industry.

How To Program
on the Colecovision

by Daniel Bienvenu & Michael Thomasson

Good Deal Games constantly receives inquiries about how to program for the classic systems. In response to reader demands, we contacted ace Colecovision programmer Daniel Bienvenu and he was kind enough to share his entire documentation and toolkits. This is simply HUGE as these docs and tools would require years to develop. Thanks again Daniel!
UPDATED  100 (+) Plus New Pages of Content

Japanese Science Museum
Features Videogame History

by Ralph Baer

Videogames are extremely popular in Japan. Their foremost science museum recently presented a half-year-long exhibit dedicated to the industry's history. A large number of original games were on display. The presence of some of the earliest games addressed the history of both the home videogame and that of the arcade games.

At the Tokyo museum, the well-attended exhibit of early videogames closed after a successful 6-month run there. A look at the photo of the entrance to the game exhibit is shown nearby.

Computer Advertising and You
by Michael Nadeau

In 1923, Ned Jordan created an advertisement that changed the way cars were sold. Jordan's company sold a sporty roadster called the Playboy. "Somewhere west of Laramie there's a bronco-busting, steer-roping girl who knows what I'm talking about," the ad began. "She can tell what a sassy pony that's a cross between greased lightning and the place where it hits, can do with eleven hundred pounds of steel and action when he's going high, wide and handsome. The truth is -- the Playboy was built for her."

No mention was made of horsepower, type of engine, or other technical details. Jordan's ad was a pure emotional sell, and it set the tone for automotive advertising to this day.

Microcomputer advertising has its defining moments, too, although none as influential as Jordan's "Somewhere West of Laramie" ad. What follows is a list of the six most important moments in microcomputer advertising (in chronological order).

Super Nintendo
Factory Sealing Guide

by Dr. Steve Brinn

SNES sealing (packaging of the games) is a complex topic, but one which must be understood by the collector interested in collecting factory sealed (as opposed to resealed or open) games. Many collectors have the false impression that if a super Nintendo game does not have a vertical seam on the back of the box, it is a resealed game. On the other hand, collectors are often misled by a picture showing a back vertical seal (know as the H seal), thinking it must “be ok” when in fact it is resealed...

Atari - A Tale of Two Systems
by Bill Loguidice

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, released in the US in late 1982, was the direct follow-up to the highly successful Atari 2600 (VCS), and predecessor of the Atari 7800 ProSystem. Atari chose to design the 5200 around technology used in their popular Atari 400/800 8-bit computer line, but was not directly compatible, unlike Atari's much later pastel-colored XEGS (XE Game System) console. The similarities in hardware did allow for relatively easy game conversions between the two systems, however, particularly when porting from the computer line to the 5200...

It Really Was All Fun & Games
(Nolan Bushnell's Keynote Speech)

by Patrick Wong

Before Bill Gates was, Nolan Bushnell was. At the 2003 Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, the room had the atmosphere of a meeting with the President. A very special man was about to enter the conference room. A crowd was already gathering during a small, cozy conference right before with the Atari 800 programmer of Parker Brothers' famous arcade conversion "Frogger" so they would have a front row seat, unknown to the Atari programmer that the follow up act was the grandest of them all...

How Alex Pajitnov was Tetris-ized
by Bill Kunkel

It provides a deeply satisfying yet ironically ongoing sense of closure and it fits my oft-quoted definition of what makes for a great videogame: a minute to learn, a lifetime to master. My subject, of course, is Tetris...

Urban Legend: Polybius

by Michael Thomasson

Polybius was a puzzle game that had a very limited release, reportedly restricted to less than a dozen arcades in a small Portland suburb. The games history is hazy. Reports indicate that children that played Polybius could no longer remember common and basic information critical to their lifestyle such as how to find their home or even recall their own name. It is unknown if these effects of amnesia were permanent...

Pizza and Spooks:
A Tale of Pac-Man Spooks

by Michael Thomasson

You might know them as Bashful, Speedy, Shadow and Pokey, but did you know that there are 25 distinctly different names for the same four ghosts? Twenty-six if you consider 'Sue' from the Pac-Man with a bow, Ms. Pac-Man....

Beyond the Balrog:
The Evolution of Text Adventures

by Tim Miller of uvgm

James Sutherland's sign currently reads "You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building." It's the first line of Adventure, the first-ever text adventure, or interactive fiction game. Over the past 25 years it's spawned an entire genre, more than one in fact, and yet nowadays you can't find a single text-adventure to buy in any shop.

Atari Holoptics
and the Ill-Fated Cosmos

By Michael Atkinson

Now remember, this was the crazy eighties after all.

In the time of glitz and glamour - post-punk, pre-grunge and pure consumerism - Atari, prior to the great video game crash of 1983, were well known as leaders in the electronic entertainment industry and were, at the time, maintaining their status as a technological juggernaut, while constantly trying to bring new and innovative products to market...

A Fifth Grade Encounter with
the Man Behind the Video Game

by Daniel Arnold

Mrs. Stewart's Fifth Grade Classroom
Shaftsburg Elementary School & Ralph Baer

Sega Spuds
by Raina Lee

I once jumped into a 2,000-gallon vat of cold instant potatoes for video games and cold hard cash. It was the most disgusting, physical sensation I have ever felt...

Winky Dink,
the History of
Interactive Television and You!

by Michael Thomasson

After all the hype, promises, and experimentation for decades, it looks as if interactive television is growing to become a $20 billion dollar venture. However, did you know that the concept of interactive television is almost as old as television itself?...

How to Acquire Video Games
(without breaking your wallet)

by Steve Costanzo

The overall goal of most collectors is to get every game for a particular system. In my case, it is to get every game for every system. The best way that I have found to get started collecting is to pick a system with a low game total, such as Sega 32X or Atari 7800, and go after the games for it. If you are picky like me, you want the box and book along with the game. This makes collecting a little more challenging as well as expensive. For me, it is worth it. A big part of the thrill is in the hunt. Sometimes the hunt is more fun than actually playing the game!

So You Wanna Read Japanese
by Michael Thomasson

So you couldn't wait any longer! You imported a game from Japan because you just had to play it! And then you discovered that before you could actually get to play the game, that you had to maneuver through the game's menu system. All those crazy symbols became so confusing to you...

Quarter Flash
by John Sellers

Here's what I like to think happened to arcades as we knew them - that is, open for business: One morning, we all woke up with a killer hangover and couldn¹t muster the strength to trudge down to Aladdin's Castle (or Space Port or Fun Factory, or any of the other somewhat nerdy variations on names for video-game hangouts). This being right around the year 1986, we slumped in our basement beanbags, hooked up the Nintendo NES that we got for Christmas, flipped on the television set, watched a few videos on MTV - hopefully catching a break and getting Falco's 'Rock Me Amadeus' and Eddie Murphy's 'Party All the Time' back to back - pushed the NES power button when veejay Adam Curry's freakish mane appeared on the screen, and played games for the rest of the day.

This article is an excerpt from the excellent book
Arcade Fever by John Sellers and Running Press P

Classic Attack
by Michael Atkinson

Moving into my thirties I have come to a crossroads where I am vainly attempting to recapture my misspent youth. That said, having been a gaming enthusiast as long as I can remember, this is no surprise that I have started my voyage of discovery with one of my beloved memories. The Atari 2600 VCS...

Getting The Most
Out of an Atari 800XLDJ

by Edward S. Baiz Jr.

An absolute enourmous amount of Atari computer information here - I do not even know where to begin to start a description of the article - just forge on - you'll be entertained, especially if your a hardware guru like we are! - Michael Thomasson

Confessions of an FMV Addict
by Cliff "Funkadelic" O'Neill

In the early to mid '90s, Full Motion Video (FMV) was all the rage. Most CD-ROM-based games at the time incorporated FMV in some way, and many games consisted of it entirely. In fact, consoles like Genesis/Sega CD, 3DO, and CD-i featured a host of 'interactive movie' type "games," in which live-action footage would play and give players limited control over the action. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I enjoyed this type of interactive experience.

Classic CES Gaming Treasures
by Michael Thomasson and Bill Kunkel

Collectable items were distributed during the classic CES (Consumer Electronics Shows) shows in years past, prior to E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) being formed. The CES shows being held primarily in Chicago (summer) and Las Vegas (winter) and were closed to the public and only available to those parties involved within the industry. Most of these items were hard to come by, even to those that fit the CES attendance requirements. Take a look - You'll be impressed! Includes a
Buttons & Pins section!

How to Clean
or Resurrect Damaged Games

by Michael Thomasson of GDG

Do you have a game cartridge or CD that is reluctant to play? Receive a game in a trade or at a yard sale that looks like it has seen better days?
Here are some tricks used by the best to pro-long and bring new life to our old treasured games!

This "Thing" Belonged in a Swamp
By Michael Thomasson of GDG I tried to leave, he actually grabbed my shoulder, and swung me back to the display console. He then pushed a controller in my hand, and challenged me to compete with him. What really made this event so wacky, was that Swamp Thing was to be a single player game!

Super Mario Brothers and Sister
By Sega Web staff writer AnonAmos

... Why eat when you can stare at that little glowing ship dance around in a maze of deadly rocks?

Lost Childhood
By Sega Web staff writer AnonAmos

...that sense of sitting down on the couch with the greatest games and knowing that controller is tuning me in to pure magic.

How Games Have Grown Up
by Sega Web staff writer AnonAmos

I've watched video games grow up. In a way I feel like a parent. It's a strange parenthood though...

Videogames lead to Better Health through new NASA Technology

Encouraging news has emerged from NASA determining that videogames have positive influence on stress and various health problems.

Boardquest: Unfinished Business
By Classic Gamer Magazine

Did you ever wish Atari made a sequel to their hit game "Adventure"? Well, you're in luck because they did. Sort of. "Adventure II," as it was originally known, was intended to be similar to the earlier Adventure, only much grander in scale. In fact, the project became so enormous, they decided to break it up into four separate games. These games came to be known collectively as the "SwordQuest" series...


PhillyClassic 5 Coverage
by Michael Thomasson

This year we played Ralph Baer's prototype Brown Box, the first videogame machine that later evolved into the Magnavox Odyssey and influenced Nolan Bushnell to make a game called Pong.
We touched GAWD itself, the Atari mainframe computer. We visited with Cindy Morgan of Tron, Pitfall Harry and other costumed gamers, shook hands with videogame celebrities such as Howard Scott Warshaw and Tommy Tallarico and placed the unreleased Atari Jaguar JagVR helmet on our heads. A new Classic Gaming Magazine launched called Manci Games Magazine and we partied at Jillians to celebrate. Come check it out...

Classic Gaming Expo 2003 Coverage

by Michael Thomasson

The best of the classic gaming expos gets even better with a surprise visit by Atari founder
Nolan Bushnell and several new game releases from Good Deal Games and other dedicated hobbyists and collectors.

PhillyClassic 4 Coverage

by Michael Thomasson

Come witness the events of this classic videogame show
and see the original Computer Space Arcade Coin-Operated machine and more!

CinciClassic 2002 ReCap

By Michael Thomasson

There were thousands of rare cartridges, devices, peripherals, consoles, adapters, collectable - literally a grand multitude of miscellaneous hardware and software from the the Golden days of electronic console gaming. Objects to represent just about every niche of gaming history, from the common to the most obscure. Devices new even to the most experienced enthusiest. Many times I witnessed the awe of discovery pertaining to items decades old...

Classic Gaming Expo 2002 Coverage

by Michael Thomasson

Another amazing expo has come and gone. If you were fortunate to attend, relive the memories. If not, well, come drool over what you missed and start your planning for CGE2K3!

Classic Gaming Expo 2001 Coverage

by Michael Thomasson

Good Deal Games was a proud supporter of CGE2K1.
View Photographs with descriptions of this fabulous event!

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