Archive for the 'Video Games' Category

`Cap’n Crunch… It’s Space Invaders’ Promotional T-Shirt, 1982

Crunch Invaders 1982-3

Crunch Invaders 1982

Usborne Guide to Computer and Video Games (Usborne, 1982)

Computer Games 1982-1031

Computer Games 1982-3033

Computer Games 1982-4034

Computer Games 1982-5035

Computer Games 1982-5036

Computer Games 1982-5038

Computer Games 1982-5039

Computer Games 1982-5040

Computer Games 1982-5041







Computer Games 1982-5044

Computer Games 1982-5045

Computer Games 1982-5045 Computer Games 1982-5046

Computer Games 1982-5047

Computer Games 1982-2032

Just a few pages I scanned from my copy—this particular book is not yet available at the Usborne site. Note the “long distance game” predicted “by the year 2000,” somewhat anticipating the internet. The irony is that the internet has enabled an attention deficit disordered culture that, with few exceptions, no longer has the patience or smarts to play a game of chess.

Atari Demonstration Center, Circa 1982

Atari Demo Tower

Two more from the Tower Records Project. The location is Mountain View, California. I don’t recall many of these demo centers inside record stores at the time; Tower certainly had the floor space. There’s a list of games on the Entertainment Sale sign, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, released in 1982.

Tower Mountain View Entertainment

Christmas Morning, Circa 1979: Intellivision

intelligent television

Michael Paulus landed the greatest console of all time.

Christmas Morning, Circa 1986: Nintendo Entertainment System

Alf Nintendo 1986

We just called it Nintendo at the time, because there was only one. Those Alf pajamas kill me!

(Photo via Reddit)

Video Game Demonstration Center, Circa 1980

Video Game Demo Circa 1981

According to Vintage Richmond, the shot is from a Circuit City store circa 1981. I think the year is likely 1980, because I don’t see Asteroids, Missile Command, or Yar’s Revenge, all of which were released for the 2600 in 1981. I do see Space Invaders and Warlords, both released in 1980.

There are two 2600 consoles in the photo, as well as a Magnavox Odyssey² and an Intellivision. I keep thinking two things: first, who was the poor bastard who had to get those TVs onto that shelf? And second, those TVs look very precariously perched on that shelf.

Note that customers had to “limit video game play to 5 minutes only”. I’m sure the kids minded the warning.

Sears Tele-Games Demonstration Center, 1977

Sears 1977

Christmas shoppers in Sears waiting for a turn at the “arcade,” via the Billings Gazette. That was a big TV in ’77. See more demo units here and here. Watch a Tele-Games (Atari 2600 clone) commercial from the same year here.

Demo units were extremely important to the early console industry. Many of us were introduced to various games and systems while dad was shopping for tools. The real arcade was usually not too far away, but it wasn’t portable, and it didn’t allow for endless play.

Atari Raiders of the Lost Ark Promo, 1982

Raiders Atari Promo 1982

(Via Atari Mania)

Dragon’s Lair Coloring Book: ‘Dirk the Daring Battles the Giddy Goons’ (Marvel Books, 1984)

DL 1984-1

DL 1984-2

DL 1984-3

There were two coloring books and two coloring/activity books based on Dragon’s Lair, all of them published in 1984 by Marvel Books. The second coloring book is The Magic Sword, and the coloring/activity books are Dirk the Daring Battles the Black Knight and Dirk the Daring Battles the Crypt Creeps.

More on Dragon’s Lair here, and I talk about the Marvel Books imprint here.

(Images via Dragon’s Lair Fans)

Arcade Zen: Arnie’s Place, 1984

Arnie's Place 1984

Arnie's Place 1984-2Arnie's Place 1984-3

Photo and article are from Electronic Games (November, 1984). Arnold Kaye opened his “game room” in 1981, despite being refused a zoning permit by the puritanical city officials of Westport, Connecticut, and it closed in 1994, to the dismay of everyone who wasn’t a horse’s ass. One resident and father of four summed it up:

It really stinks that they forced him to close down… It’s one of the few places in town where kids can do something at night that doesn’t involve trouble. I always felt my kids were safe here.

But Kaye was tired of being harassed, and times were tough. “My threats got more and more bizarre as my frustrations grew,” he said. “All I wanted to do was provide a clean, wholesome environment for kids where they could play and have fun. I’ll always be proud of having done that.”

Kaye, a boisterous and inflexible personality, had chained himself to a Town Hall door in 1982 to protest “unfair treatment,” and in 1983 threatened to convert the arcade to a “porno movie theater” after the zoning commission didn’t approve an increase in games allowed inside the facility.

Kaye died in 2003. Thanks for fighting the good fight, Arnie.




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