Five Things – 9.23.13

1. 2010: The Graphic Action Game – I love 2010: Odyssey Two, both the book and movie.  I love the book because it’s a pretty great one-upping of 2001 and a pretty inspiring story idea in its own right, but I love the movie for different reasons.  2001, the film, is this elegant exercise that seems to perfectly capture the ’60s view of the future — clean, stylish, quiet, white.


Then, 2010 comes along and (probably unintentionally) captures the ’80s view of the future – industrial, dirty, metallic.


It’s probably not fair to make such broad generalizations about each movie, and 2010 is  beautiful at times, but there’s no denying the era either film came from – even at a glance.

80s on the left, 60s on the right

But this isn’t even about the movies; I got distracted.  Anyway, I love 2010 because it’s so so so ’80s and 2010: The Graphic Action Game reflects that as well in more of a sour way.

2010 Front

2010 Back

The excitement begins and ends with the box art.  The game has the tendency, as do other licensed games of its time, to focus on one tiny part of the film’s story and base the entire thing around it.  In 2010: The Graphic Action Game, the Graphic Action you are engaging in is….rerouting circuitry so that your ship can escape disaster.  That’s it.

2010 Screenshot


2010 Screenshot

Riveting.  It’s more of a shame because there was probably a pretty cool adventure game in there somewhere, and instead we got this.

But the movie is fun!


2. 1980s Atlanta Video  – Check out this bizarre promotional video featuring 1980s Atlanta.  1980s Downtown Atlanta.  Not exactly a place where you’d want to be, but the way this video sells it makes it seem like it’s the futuristic city on the move! I bet they even swept the MARTA for those shots!


3.  Mr. Wizard and the Atari 1200XL – Here’s a snippet of Mr. Wizard’s show on Nickelodeon featuring the Atari 1200XL.  You know what? Here’s a beautiful print ad featuring the Atari 1200XL first:

Atari 1200 Ad

Anyway, the Atari 1200XL was the Edsel of Atari’s home computer lineup, being so souped up and so overpriced that it actually increased sales of the model just beneath it when it came out. Regardless of that, the financially capable tech-nerds had to have it, and Mr. Wizard fit that bill just fine:

I’ve got nothing but love for Mr. Wizard’s ability, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess that that thing never worked quite right once he put it back together.


4.  Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir on Letterman – Check out a 1987 interview with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir on Letterman – skip about 8:00 in if you’re not into the music.  A nice bit of weird television history.


5.  Hovercraft Update – I have not found anybody with the specific “FLOAT ON AIR” model hovercraft advertised in the ad posted last week, but I did find a couple of kids who did roughly the same thing — a little less elegantly, but still, these kids are FLOATING ON AIR:

These children have done more for our future than Marty McFly ever did.