Tag Archives: Arcade Games

Spacewar! for the PDP-1

Spacewar! for the PDP-1 is now officially the oldest video game I have ever played, thanks to it being brought back to life in an emulator over at the Internet Archive.

The great-grandfather app of many games, including the Space Wars arcade game from the 70s, the emulator simulates as much of the PDP-1 experience as possible, including blinky lights.

Spacewar! Loaded!

Spacewar! Loaded!

Of course, it is raw… and the gravity is brutal.  I am doing all I can just to not crash into the sun in the first 30 seconds.

Boom! yet again!

Boom! yet again!

But when you consider the time frame… this was done in 1962… it is nothing short of amazing and a pretty good glimpse into the future.  It even has something of an Easter Egg.

Another addition to the Internet Archive’s Historical Software Collection.

Pong is 40 Today

What was probably the first successful arcade video game, Pong, turned 40 today, if Wikipedia is to be believed.

I am old enough to remember when this seemed incredibly new and different.  And fun.  This game was fun.  I remember begging for quarters to play it at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Jose when I was a kid. (I cannot believe that place is still there.)

Quarters to play this!

That is it…

This is the game that made Atari a household name.  There were numerous knock-offs, and every home video game console had to have a version of Pong for the next decade.  I think the NES might have been the first without a “two paddles and a ball” game by default.

The first video game console in our home was the Atari Super Pong version, which had FOUR… count them… FOUR variations on the game.

I cannot even remember what those four were.  One was a solo version that was essentially you versus a wall, though you could turn the other controller to make a gap in the wall.  Wozniak and Jobs would come along in a bit and turn that idea into Breakout, the prototypical “lone nerd in a losing battle” video game.

And the Atari 2600 came with paddle controllers primarily so you could play Pong, though I recall it being useful the Casino card games as well. (Which, if nothing else, taught me that in Blackjack, Vegas Rules suck.  Unless, of course, you are the house.)

So remember Pong today, for it is the mother of all “how the hell was this ever fun?” video games.

Another iPad Arcade Tease

Remember that April Fool’s Joke over at ThinkGeek?  The iCade?

This is just a dream...

Well, that immediately came to mind when I was looking at the Brookstone catalog last night and saw they had a Pinball Magic stand for the iPad.

Not quite the iCade, but a start

Not quite the killer app for the iPad, but interesting enough that I went to go look at their site online to see if there were any more details about it.

There were not any further details.  There were no details at all.

They had a tiny version for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but no iPad version.

Tiny iPhone pinball

So I started to dig around to see if anybody else had only to find… nothing.

Nothing but an article over at CNet wondering what became of the Pinball Magic stand for the iPad.  So the iCade seemed to be a pretty apt comparison, only it isn’t April.

I guess the big available retro option for the iPad is the Etch-a-sketch case.

Somebody go pester the guys at ThinkGeek about that iCade.

iPad Arcade Stand April Fools

Now it is things like this April Fools ad over at ThinkGeek that make me just cry.  It looks so good, but you click on “Buy It” and get the big “April Fools” page.

The iCade

Didn’t think you needed an iPad? Think again!

When the iPad was announced, we all crammed into a conference room to watch live and drool over every shiny corner and reflecty icon. After the glow of the initial announcement wore off, many of us came to the conclusion that the iPad was actually pretty useless. “It’s a giant iPhone!” some said. Others exclaimed, “WTF, no Flash!?”. Still, we knew that most Apple fanbots (us included) would have to have one anyway.

Knowing that many of our loyal geeky customers would eventually get their retractable claws on an iPad at some point, we knew we needed to take it to the next level. What cool things could we do with the iPad that you, our lovely geek customers, would squee over? A few brainstorming sessions later, the idea of a MAME cabinet came up and we knew we’d struck gold. How cool would it be to slide your iPad into a desktop-sized arcade cabinet and rock it old school with some Pac-Man or Space Invaders?

Why is this an April Fools joke?  Why isn’t this real?  Somebody get off the dime and get to work on this!

Okay, it seems a bit small.  I’d want something a bit bigger to play arcade games, but still.  This would tempt me to buy an iPad.

Curses to my friend Scott for sending me this link and simultaneously raising and crushing my hopes.