The sprawl of Adventure. The addictiveness of Breakout. The intensity of Space Invaders. Once upon a time, you could only experience this kind of excitement at the arcade. But in 1977 that changed forever. You, and maybe a friend or a sibling, could instantly teleport from your own living room to a dazzling new world—with nothing more than a small plastic cartridge. This was the promise of the Atari 2600—and it was delivered in ways no one ever expected. No, the games it put on your TV weren’t what you saw when you plunked in your quarters at the convenience store or in the noisy, smoky business on the other side of town. But they brought the arcade home—and it hasn’t left since. With Adventure: The Atari 2600 at the Dawn of Console Gaming, Jamie Lendino takes you to the front lines of the home gaming revolution, exploring the history of the world-changing console and delves into the coin-op ports and original titles that still influence gaming today. Before your next trip to a magical universe with your Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch, see how the home gaming industry truly began.
From their haunts in the shadowy corner of a bar, front and center at a convenience store, or reigning over a massive mall installation bursting with light, sound, and action, arcade games have been thrilling and addicting quarter-bearers of all ages ever since Pong first lit up its paddles. Whether you wanted a few minutes’ quick-twitch exhilaration or the taste of three-initial immortality that came with topping the high score screen, you could get it from the diverse range of space shooters, dot-eating extravaganzas, quirky beat-’em-ups, and more that have helped define pop culture for more than four decades. In Attract Mode: The Rise and Fall of Coin-Op Arcade Games, author Jamie Lendino celebrates both the biggest blockbusters (Pac-Man, Star Wars: The Arcade Game) and the forgotten gems (Phoenix, Star Castle) of the Golden Age of coin-op gaming, and pulls back the curtain on the personalities and the groundbreaking technologies that brought them to glitzy, color-drenched life in the U.S., Japan, and all over the world. You’ll start your journey exploring the electromechanical attractions and pinball games of the early 20th century. Next, you’ll meet the earliest innovators, who used college computers and untested electronics to outline the possibilities of the emerging form, and discover the surprising history behind the towering megahits from Nintendo, Sega, and others that still inform gaming today. Then you’ll witness the devastating crash that almost ended it all—and the rebirth no one expected. Whether you prefer the white-knuckle gameplay of Robotron: 2084, the barrel-jumping whimsy of Donkey Kong, or the stunning graphics and animation of Dragon’s Lair, Attract Mode will transport you back to the heyday of arcade games and let you relive—or experience for the first time—the unique magic that transformed entertainment forever.
No one saw it coming. At its launch in 1981, IBM’s original Personal Computer was an expensive business machine—not a gaming behemoth of the kind you saw from Apple, Atari, Commodore, and Tandy. But by 1990, the PC had trampled all its competitors and become the gaming juggernaut it remains to this day. How did this happen? What did the PC do that the ostensibly superior Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and Apple IIGS, couldn’t? In Starflight: How the PC and DOS Exploded Computer Gaming 1987–1994, author Jamie Lendino tells the full story, starting with the PC’s humble CGA and monochrome origins, moving through early ill-fated (if influential) failures such as the PCjr and Tandy 1000, and diving deep into the industry-shattering innovations in processing, graphics, sound, software, and distribution that gave the PC (and the gamers who loved it) unprecedented power and reach. Along the way, Lendino explores more than 110 of the PC’s most entertaining and important games, revealing how they paved the way for PC supremacy while also offering players new levels of challenge and fun. From groundbreaking graphic adventures (King’s Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island), innovative role-playing games (Ultima, Might and Magic), and sprawling space combat epics (Wing Commander, X-Wing) to titanic strategy titles (Civilization, X-Com), first-person shooters (Stellar 7, Doom), wide-ranging simulations (Stunts, Falcon 3.0), and hard-driving arcade action games (Arkanoid, Raptor), you’ll discover every detail of how the PC’s games catapulted it into the computer gaming stratosphere. Whether you were there at the time—experiencing first-hand the transition of EGA to VGA and single-voice beeps and boops to sweepingly symphonic Roland MT-32 sound, and discovering historic titles upon their release—or you’re only now discovering the wonders of the era, Starflight: How the PC and DOS Exploded Computer Gaming 1987–1994 is a fresh, dynamic, and impossible-to-put-it-down look at the years when PC gaming—and computer gaming itself—changed forever.
Now in its second edition, the Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming is the definitive, go-to resource for anyone interested in the diverse and expanding video game industry. This three-volume encyclopedia covers all things video games, including the games themselves, the companies that make them, and the people who play them. Written by scholars who are exceptionally knowledgeable in the field of video game studies, it notes genres, institutions, important concepts, theoretical concerns, and more and is the most comprehensive encyclopedia of video games of its kind, covering video games throughout all periods of their existence and geographically around the world. This is the second edition of Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming, originally published in 2012. All of the entries have been revised to accommodate changes in the industry, and an additional volume has been added to address the recent developments, advances, and changes that have occurred in this ever-evolving field. This set is a vital resource for scholars and video game aficionados alike. Explores games, people, events, and ideas that are influential in the industry, rather than simply discussing the history of video games Offers a detailed understanding of the variety of video games that have been created over the years Includes contributions from some of the most important scholars of video games Suggests areas of further exploration for students of video games
Drawing from deep archival research and extensive interviews, Atari Design is a rich, historical study of how Atari's industrial and graphic designers contributed to the development of the video game machine. Innovative game design played a key role in the growth of Atari – from Pong to Asteroids and beyond – but fun, challenging and exciting game play was not unique to the famous Silicon Valley company. What set it apart from its competitors was innovation in the coin-op machine's cabinet. Atari did not just make games, it designed products for environments. With “tasteful packaging”, Atari exceeded traditional locations like bars, amusement parks and arcades, developing the look and feel of their game cabinets for new locations such as fast food restaurants, department stores, country clubs, university unions, and airports, making game-play a ubiquitous social and cultural experience. By actively shaping the interaction between user and machine, overcoming styling limitations and generating a distinct corporate identity, Atari designed products that impacted the everyday visual and material culture of the late 20th century. Design was never an afterthought at Atari.
“Power Without the Price.” Every Atari fan remembers that slogan from the 1980s as the rallying cry for 16-bit computing in the form of the Atari ST. This groundbreaking computer brought previously unimagined power to the home user for the first time—and transformed an industry or two along the way. Author Jamie Lendino offers a fresh, vital look at the history of the Atari ST, guiding you from its inauspicious genesis at the center of a company known for its gaming consoles to its category-defining triumphs in music, desktop publishing, and video gaming. And he doesn’t stop there: He then leaps to the present to pull back the veil on the thriving software and mod communities that aren’t just keeping it alive today, but taking it to places its creators never could have imagined. Whether you’re a longtime devotee who wants to relive the magic of the machine that unleashed the wonders of Dungeon Master, Time Bandit, and Starglider, an intrepid DIYer on the hunt for new ideas and resources to take your homebrew system to the next level, or a newcomer hungry to learn the ins and outs of one of the most important computers ever created, this book will get you there just as the ST did its long-ago digital pioneers: Faster Than Light.
Atari is one of the most recognized names in the world. Since its formation in 1972, the company pioneered hundreds of iconic titles including Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command. In addition to hundreds of games created for arcades, home video systems, and computers, original artwork was specially commissioned to enhance the Atari experience, further enticing children and adults to embrace and enjoy the new era of electronic entertainment. The Art of Atari is the first official collection of such artwork. Sourced from private collections worldwide, this book spans over 40 years of the company's unique illustrations used in packaging, advertisements, catalogs, and more. Co-written by Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino, The Art of Atari includes behind-the-scenes details on how dozens of games featured within were conceived of, illustrated, approved (or rejected), and brought to life! Includes a special Foreword by New York Times bestseller Ernest Cline author of Armada and Ready Player One, soon to be a motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. Whether you're a fan, collector, enthusiast, or new to the world of Atari, this book offers the most complete collection of Atari artwork ever produced!