Back to the game. Well, just do a quick Internet search and you can find "Pong" for almost any piece of electronic you probably own. I'm guessing that your toaster is "smart" enough to play this game. Think table tennis broken down to the simplest possible form that it would be recognizable as such. This is just a tad less complex than that. I remember that we could play solo "handball" or two could play "Pong". If there were more features than just turning it on and off, I can't recall them.
Listen to my latest short story "The Forest Trail"
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Now that my street cred had either been established or demolished I have to say there’s one thing I sincerely miss, the arcade. For you kids, this was a place that was dedicated to dumping quarters into stand up version of these games. The colorful cabinets, the screaming kids, and the thrill of discovering that a new game had been delivered are all fond memories. The progress in the quality of game play, graphics, and artificial intelligence for the bad guys is certainly a nice trade off, but I miss what are the equivalent of the movie palace of my day. These chapels of geekdom were the places I went to hang out with friends and to engage in the kind of camaraderie and trash talk the jocks out there can appreciate.
I suppose some of that can be found in the dimness of one’s bedroom. Fire up the 360 and log in to Live and you can berate your friends or engage in co-op play with people from around the world. While awesome in its own way, it feels sterile. A purpose built location for hurling bits and blowing large wads of cash while hanging out with your friends should still have a place in the world outside of casinos.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Dan here - The blog post Writing Average Heroes w/Level-Up Appeal Tim mentions at the end of his audio recording is great and was very interesting to me because I was one of the guys telling Tim he needed to read Nathan Lowell's novel Quarter Share. Go check it out and leave comments, it's a very interesting subject for writers when it comes to storytelling. The tension or action at every turn verses the everyman fiction where characters go about their business slowly "leveling up." I'd like to know what you all think about that as well!
Friday, July 15, 2011
I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw it, that magic screen projecting device, but it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. It was two and a half hours away from my house, and it belonged to my older cousins, but my brother and I spent many a night talking across the room ab out how wonderful it was to play Pacman.
You see my cousins where the first people we knew that had a video game. We had seen them at stores and begged our parents for quarters to play them, but this was an actual system in their home and you didn’t need quarters, you just needed to wait your turn. Sometimes the line was long enough that you could have earned that quarter, but it was always worth it to sit in that darkened basement and play the three turns you got being eaten by ghosts well before you could leave the bottom half of the screen.
After that, we did eventually get a “computer.” It was a Texas Instruments 80 with a sound modulator and tape recorder back up. We had three games at first, Hunt the Wampus, a version of space invaders and PARSEC! But there was that tape backup and it had to be used.
That was many moons ago, and even though developers now ask me never to write code, ever again, it was how I got started in my current career field. (Thanks dad for turning me into a computer nerd.) Those were good times and we did move on from there. When I begged for a commodore 64, we bought an IBM clone. I learned DOS, and started my writing career. But it was not just for writing, it had games to you know. Kings Quest, Wizardry and early flight simulators took a large amount of my days. They might have been in black and green, the characters might have been stick figure-esque, and I never did figure out how you could gnaw and something a miss, but those video games were legendary things and, if you were patient enough and held your mouth just right, you could some times even save your game.