Sunday, August 13, 2006

Plus ca change...

YouTube is the best thing since.... well, it's just the best thing ever.

GameSetWatch points us to this *awesome* series of videos- recordings from Nickelodeon's "LiveWire", a kind of talkshow/issues show from the 80's. This series of videos is from an episode about arcade games.

It's uncanny how much of the content reflects many of the same things we see today. It's also got awesome 80's hair and eyewear, and that's just icing on the cake.

In Part 1, we see:

  • Buckner and Garcia performing 80's 1-hit-wonder "Pac Man Fever", prove that people will by any crap, and that at one point in history, completely opaque sunglasses were manufactured and sold.
  • The stage set for later in the show, interviewing inarticulate kids about their 'addiction'.

In Part 2, we see:

  • A tour of the Bally-Midway manufacturing floor. you don't see arcade games manafactured at this scale anymore, that's for sure. And that's pre-Jamma, folks! Custom PCB's per game.
  • Stanley Jarocki, VP Mktg, gives an interview, somewhat *frightening* in it's content. Namely (a) Talking about Pacman's popularity (a japanese company catapulting new growth in the market by coming up with innovative and approachable games that appeal to women and other non-gamers), and (b) that this growth plus the industry size at that time, and their roadmap, leading him to conclude that there's no foreseeable decline in the market (we should all take note of this hubris and remember it)
  • A small snippet on the change in players and the play dynamic when video games came about (remember, Bally-Midway was a pinball manufacturer before that - at that time they viewed Video games as just a new kind of pinball. When you are a hammer, all the world's a nail.

In part 3, we see:

  • Ronnie Lamm, a PTA district president (and perhaps Jack Thompson's inspiration) comes on to debate the evils of games, making many non-sensical arguements, including an accusation of loan-sharking by arcade owners (the "what are you, and idiot?" look one kid gives her is priceless)
  • Jarocki squirms in his chair some, then says that parents have a responsibility and the industry should police itself (sound familiar?)
  • The one-hit-wonders return to do "Do The Donkey Kong", perhaps better named "beat the dead horse".
  • some minutes of the footage are missing - possibly because Buckner & Jarocki's shades drew near enough to one another to form a gravitational field of some density that it sucked in three minutes of time itself

Definitely recommend watching all three. IN the meantime, I'll be off pondering whether or not to grow my hair out to Jarockify it.


Patrick said...

Platinum Hair Host: Wow, five dollars a day, thats pretty addictive... who else, who else likes videogames?

Random Kid 7: I like em.

PHH: Why is that? Why do you like videogames and so forth?

RK7: Because the videogame doesn't judge me for being black.

PHH: ...

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