Terrified of Buttons – Kim Komando Infomercial (1990s)

Can you believe that there was a time when computers weren’t just not in our pockets, they weren’t even in our houses? Around the late 1980s these CRT behemoths, previously relegated to those eggheads on their college campuses, started making their way into homes across America – a transition which delighted children and befuddled adults…

Squash Game Tonight – AT&T True Experience (1995)

The ’90s are full of ahead-of-its-time ideas, particularly when the internet is involved.  We could not wait to make the internet our slave, and were simultaneously just as eager to create a critical umbilical between our lives and the internet that could barely tolerate any disruption.  Windows 95 was full of ways to plug into…

Is That Legal? – Coleco Adam Ads (1983)

It’s not enough, apparently, to have a successful video game console; there’s a long history of the industry trying to sweeten the appeal of the purchase by promoting or promising additional non-gaming features.  Sony wanted you to run Linux on your PS3, Microsoft wanted your Xbox One to be a cable box and DVR, Nintendo…

All Those Ghosts Turn Blue – Pac Man Ads (1980s)

Readers of this blog are already aware of my distinct fondness for video game box art, particularly from the early 1980s. The disparity between the elaborate imagery on game boxes and in marketing materials and what players saw on the screen with the actual gameplay isn’t too surprising given the limited technology of the time,…

Commodore Vic 20 Print Ads

Selling a computer in 1982 had to be pretty tough. For one thing, they were super expensive. For another thing, you had (at least) two different types of customers. On one side, there’s a really informed audience that wanted to know what specs your company brought to the table that made you better than the…

Five Things – 05.15.17 – Fall Has Come To Millbrook

Nintendo Fun Club – April 1988 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link I played the new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, for about an hour this morning. I didn’t have a ton of time to play, so I didn’t want to get into anything too big. Instead I just collected some food and…

Five Things – 10.17.16 – Never Known To Fail

  Robot Odyssey I’ve never been as simultaneously captivated and out of my league as I was when I played Robot Odyssey as a child in the 1980s. Robot Odyssey, created in 1984 by educational game company The Learning Company, had a unique sort of difficulty to it.  Other games by The Learning Company of the…

Five Things – 06.27.16 – All Seven Functions

The Diamond Head Game Despite being shot on location in beautiful 1975 Hawaii, this very short lived game show didn’t accomplish much beyond giving host Bob Eubanks a chance to get a tan. The Diamond Head Game featured four mini-rounds consisting of basic trivia with contestants pulled from what can only be referred to in this post-Arsenio…

Five Things – 05.23.16 – Dare You Let It In Your Library?

The Stephen King Library Stephen King’s pretty well-regarded nowadays, but in the 1980s and 1990s he had a polarizing level of fame. While he had a dedicated fanbase, he tended to be regarded in the mainstream as a shlocky horror writer who put out a new book every week and opinion of him was formed on whether…

Five Things – 05.16.16 – Less Than You Think, Jack

Prodigy Commercials The internet was introduced to my house in 1990 through Prodigy, an early online service that touted all of the features of online living we take for granted today in a crude, difficult-to-use format that was still the best experience of the era. Prodigy came to us bundled with a 2600k modem and…