1. Computer Space – Touted as the first coin-operated video game, Computer Space was created by Nolan Bushnell, who went on to create Atari and Showbiz Pizza. In other words, Nolan was pretty much the man. Computer Space was, according to Bushnell, too complicated to succeed in a bar setting. What really makes it memorable to me is the cabinet itself.
Look at that thing! I want to live in it.
2. Gary Gnu – This should be about The Great Space Coaster in general, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Gary Gnu for some reason. A segment on Great Space Coaster, The Gary Gnu Show was a news program where everything went wrong. I have no idea why Gary entered my mind this week, but now he refuses to leave! No Gnews is good Gnews!
3. Atari Liberator – In 1982 Atari released an arcade game that tied into their Atari Force comic series. Atari Liberator looks like some sort of Missile Command endeavor turned galactic, where you’re the one firing the missiles instead of the other way around. The gameplay looks pretty good for 1982, and the poster….the poster…
Those suits! Those poses! Here’s a video of the gameplay:
4. A Wrinkle In Time Graphic Novel – A Wrinkle In Time and the subsequent books are the first “real” series I can remember reading. I’ve gone back to it a few times since I was a child, and the writing really holds up. Turns out, someone’s done a graphic novel of the first book and the results are pretty fantastic. Hope Larson has done a great job of both capturing the story in this medium but also of paying an homage to a story that is obviously so important to her. I can relate.
5. Starcade – It’s a pretty vintage-games-heavy Five Things this week, I know, but a lot of that stuff has been bubbling up lately. I was reminded of Starcade, the 1980s attempt by WTBS to make arcade gaming into an interesting television program. Others have tried since then but all have failed, Starcade included. What makes Starcade unique is that it happened during the time that video games were really blowing up and that wave of enthusiasm is visible when you watch an episode. Here’s a poster for it:
And here’s an episode! I could watch this all day.