Cover image for Supercade : a visual history of the videogame age, 1971-1984
Title:
Supercade : a visual history of the videogame age, 1971-1984
Author:
Burnham, Van.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
439 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780262024921
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

From Pong to Pac-Man, Asteroids to Zaxxon - more than 50 million people around the world have come of age within the electronic flux of videogames, their subconscious forever etched with images projected from arcade and home videogame systems.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Remarkably, the first interactive computer game was programmed in 1958 ("Tennis for Two," devised as a way to occupy bored guests to Brookhaven National Laboratory), and the first commercially available hardware able to download games over telephone lines was produced in 1982 (Gameline, a modem marketed for the Atari 2600 game system). These are but two of the many fascinating facts in this lively, colorful history of the golden years of the video game (i.e., the years before the personal computer became the primary medium of the games). The author, a contributing editor to Wired magazine, enlists the help of numerous experts in the field to tell this splashy story in a detailed but userfriendly style. For some readers, this will be a trip down memory lane (Atari, Activision, Pong, Space Invaders, PacMan); for others, an eyeopening story about the quest for video-game supremacy. Either way, it's a winner. --David Pitt


Publisher's Weekly Review

The generation now in its 30s pumped innumerable quarters into free-standing video consoles with protruding joysticks, steering wheels, and "fire" buttons the quaint precursors of today's dollar-based sensory overload and sleekly sophisticated home systems. Burnham, an L.A.-based Wired contributing editor and a member of the Video Arcade Preservation Society, lovingly collects screen shots of faves like Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Q*bert, along with early games like Computer Space and Pong, and home games from Atari and Nintendo. The cheeky capsule descriptions of each game from Burnham and others are matched with longer essays from writers like Julian Dibble (My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World), who writes about the text-based game Adventure, and former Feed editor Steven Johnson (Emergence) on Atari competitor Intellivision. The chronological organization holds the book's disparate games and players together adequately, but readers looking for a straight narrative history should look elsewhere: this is all about memory jogging and rapturous description. Notably, Burnham did the book's text, design and production; the layout is quirky and provocative but not disorienting, and the print quality is excellent. (Nov.) Forecast: While the book can't compete with the actual experience of playing the games, Burnham's time capsule will given as a gift among gamers (not a small subculture), and browsers from its demographic will at least flip through. The MIT imprint could lead to some campus acquisitions, especially for schools with modern media and culture departments. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Initially thought to be mere fads, video games have become entrenched in global popular culture. These two books use different approaches to document the phenomenon. Kent, a freelance writer, interviewed video game innovators such as Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani, among hundreds of others, to provide a definitive history. He includes photos of the major video game players and quotes extensively from his interviewees in an academic but highly readable style. The promised index will be needed to navigate the text, but this remains a fascinating and well-researched account of the games many of us grew up with or have encountered in an arcade. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Ralph H. BaerVan Burnham
Forewordp. 17
Introductionp. 21
01 Brookhaven National Labsp. 27
Tennis for Two
02 MITp. 33
Building 20Nick Montfort
TmrcNick Montfort
The Origin of Spacewar!J.M. Graetz
Dictionary of the Tmrc LanguagePeter Samson
03 TV Game Projectp. 51
Television Gaming Apparatus
The Brown Box
04 Timelinep. 56
05 1971p. 65
Syzygy
Computer Space
06 1972p. 75
Atari
Odyssey
Pong
07 1973p. 89
TV Ping-Pong
Asteroid
Gotcha
Paddle Ball
Rally
Space Race
Winner
08 1974p. 99
Gran Trak 10
Puppy Pong
Qwak!
Rebound
Speed Race
Tank
Touch Me
09 1975p. 111
Atari Pong
Odyssey 100-5000
Alley Rally
Avenger
Gun Fight
Maneater
Shark Jaws
Steeplechase
10 1976p. 127
Telstar
Channel F
AdventureJulian Dibbell
Breakout
Death Race
Night Driver
Sea Wolf
Sprint 2
Stunt Cycle
11 1977p. 147
Atari VcsLeonard Herman
Studio II
Apple IIJustin Hall
PetNick Montfort
TRS-80
Canyon Bomber
Circus
Drag Race
Safari
Starship 1
12 1978p. 157
The Professional Arcade
Odyssey[superscript 2]
Atari Football
Avalanche
Blasto
Fire Truck
Gee Bee
Space Invaders
Space WarsChris Hudak
13 1979p. 185
IntellivisionSteven Johnson
Atari Home Computers
TI-99
AsteroidsTom Vanderbilt
Basketball
Galaxian
Galaxy Wars
Lunar Lander
Rip OffCarl Steadman
Speed Freak
Warrior
Interview: Tim Skelly
14 1980p. 209
ActivisionNick Montfort
Game and Watch
Battlezone
BerzerkNick Montfort
Carnival
Centipede
Crazy Climber
DefenderNick Montfort
Missile Command
Pac-Man
Phoenix
Radarscope
Red Baron
Space Invaders Deluxe
Star Castle
Stratovox
15 1981p. 233
Pac-Man Fever
Twin Galaxies
Interview: Walter Day
Cosmos
Commodore VIC-20
Ibm Pc
Donkey KongSteven L. Kent
Frogger
Galaga
Gorf
Hangly Man
Jump Bug
KaosWilliam Cassidy
Lady Bug
Lock 'N Chase
Make Trax
Mouse Trap
MS. PAC-MAN
Pleiads
Qix
Scramble
Space Odyssey
StargateBob Parks
TempestSteven L. Kent
Thief
Turbo
Vanguard
Venture
Warlords
Wizard of WorJoe Fielder
16 1982p. 277
Gronk! Flash! Zap!
Imagic
Atari 5200Keita Iida
Colecovision
Vectrex
Commodore 64
Zx SpectrumNick Sweeney
BurgertimeJustin Hall
Dig DugLauren Fielder
Disco No. 1
Donkey Kong Junior
Joust
Jungle King
Kangaroo
Moon Patrol
Mr. Do
Pengo
Pole Position
Popeye
Pop Flamer
Q*BertWarren Davis
Reactor
Robotron: 2084
Robby Roto!
Satan's Hollow
Sinistar
Time PilotNick Montfort
Tron
Tutankham
Wacko
Xevious
ZaxxonTom Vanderbilt
Zookeeper
Zzyzzyxx
17 1983p. 331
StarcadeDamon Claussen
SG-1000
Astron Belt
Cliff Hanger
Cloak and Dagger
Congo Bongo
Crystal Castles
Crossbow
Dragon's LairMarc Saltzman
Elevator ActionRyan Lockhart
Gyruss
Journey
M.A.C.H. 3
Major Havoc
Mario Bros
Space Ace
Spy HunterJustin Hall
Star TrekChris Hudak
Star Wars
Track and Field
Tropical Angel
Van-Van Car
18 1984p. 371
Atari 7800
Famicom
Apple Macintosh
720[degree]
Excitebike
I, Robot
Karate ChampYoshimitsu Shinobi
Lode Runner
Marble Madness
PAC-LandChris Charla
Paperboy
Punch Out!Michael Wolf
Tapper
Samurai Nipponichi
Snake Pit
TX-1
Vs. BaseballTodd Zuniga
19 Collectionsp. 401
20 Exhibitsp. 409
Todayp. 412
Resourcesp. 422
Indexp. 428
Creditsp. 439
Authorp. 442
Contributorsp. 444