Video Games

But Mom, I Wanted PONG!

Have you ever yearned for a particular gift only to receive an inferior substitute? That I imagine is what happened under a number of Christmas trees in the mid-1970s, when Marx Toys marketed its T.V. Tennis, an electromechanical version of home video game systems. ICHEG recently acquired a working copy of T.V. Tennis.

Her Interactive Collections at ICHEG

Her Interactive, creator of the popular Nancy Drew games, has donated a large collection of games, design drafts, memoranda, press materials, focus group studies, player correspondence, and other materials that document the company’s history, the development of their Nancy Drew games, and the attitudes of girls towards gaming over the past 20 years. Nancy Drew has captured the imagination of girls since her fictional debut in 1930.

Gaming in 2012

Happy New Year fellow gamers! As we ring in the New Year, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate all the innovations the industry underwent throughout the last 12 months. At the beginning of the year, Sony released the handheld PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) to North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Russia.  Several months earlier, the PS Vita made a successful debut in Japan. Sony marketed the PS Vita as a portable PlayStation 3 and players enjoyed graphics as sharp and colorful as its console predecessor.

The Vectrex Turns 30

During the early 1980s, Smith Engineering/Western Technologies founder and Microvision designer Jay Smith III led an effort to develop a portable home video game console capable of emulating such popular vector graphics-based arcade games as Asteroids (1979) and Tempest (1980).

Aliens, Astronauts, and Video Games

Since the 17th century, individuals have discussed the possibility of extraterrestrial beings. What is the possibility of extraterrestrial life? “Guaranteed,” Harvard physicist and search for extraterrestrial intelligent life leader Paul Horowitz declared in a 1996 interview with Time Magazine. It is “so overwhelmingly likely that I’d give you almost any odds you’d like,” he said. Not everyone shares Horowitz’s confidence, but most people still delight in films, books, TV, and educational programming about the subject.

Costume Quest: Nostalgic Halloween Gaming

It’s almost Halloween. My neighborhood is filled with decorative plastic ghosts, goblins, and skeletons. Advertisements for scary movie marathons inundate television channels, and bookstores carry special displays of Dracula and Frankenstein. As a gamer, this is the best time to play chilling classics like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, or Left 4 Dead. But not all Halloween games fall into the traditional survival horror genre. I recently discovered a game that calls attention to my favorite part of this holiday: costumes.

A Fabulous Collection of Atari Concept Art

ICHEG has acquired a collection of more than 250 drawings that document how designers at Atari created some of the most important games of the arcade era. Sketches show the development of games such as Gran Trak 10, the first cabinet to use a steering wheel, shifter, and gas and brake pedals; Touch Me, which inspired Ralph Baer’s Simon; the pioneering 3D dogfight simulator Red Baron; and the legendary dungeon crawler Gauntlet.