Posts Tagged ‘video game’


Atari 2600 Manuals and Nintendo Club Magazines on Scribd

April 19, 2014

As a Smashwords contributor, I was recently given a free subscription to Scribd. I found a way to sideload the Scribd app on my Kindle and immediately searched for Atari and Nintendo stuff. I was very happy with what I found. There were several collections of Atari 2600 Manuals and several issues of both Nintendo Club and Nintendo Power magazine.



Access to these manuals and magazines is just more of my portable nostalgia. It is bits of my childhood that I can check out and spend a few minutes with anytime I want. If you ate similarly looking for portable nostalgia, I suggest you get the Scribd app and look around. Also, my books ANESthetized and Arcadian are there. Apparently you can get them there for free. If you do, please give me a good review at!


My Loser Phase

November 6, 2012

I love the self-published ebooks that ereaders and ebook sellers have made possible.  I love them for several reasons.  One is that they are much cheaper than other ebooks.  What can I say?  I’m cheap.  The other, though, is that I believe they are primary historical sources.  When you learned history in high school (if you learned any at all), you probably learned most of it from secondary sources.  Your text book was not written by someone who was there to witness that history but someone who had learned that history in someway.  That’s fine (if they learned it right, anyway), but it is not as good as consulting a primary source.  And that is what we independent ebook writers are producing.  Amazon Direct Publishing, YouTube, and blogs are turning us all into historians, recording the history we see playing out before our eyes.  And the materials we are producing are much more valuable than those a secondary historian could produce.  They are much more valuable even if they are erroneous in some way.  Even if the authors or filmmakers have their facts wrong, they are still recording history as they saw it, and there are few things more valuable than that.

I bring all this up merely as an introduction to a ebook I came across recently called My Loser Phase: Tales of Video Game Retail 1992-1997.

This book has a lot in common with my books Arcadian and ANESthetized.  Both were about video games.  This one, though, covers a later era of gaming than mine, and it covers it from the vantage point of a guy who is slogging his way through the retail world.  If you loved the Genesis, SNES, Turbografx-16, Playstation, and computer peripherals of the mid-90s, you will like reaing Johnson’s account of how they appeared in the stores and were received by customers.  And if you worked in retail (as did I), you will like his thoughts on those experiences as well.  Even though this era is not my favorite era of gaming, I did live through it and enjoyed the memories Johnson’s writing evoked.  I sympathized with his customer service and college experiences as well.  Overal, I really enjoyed reading this primary historical source, and if you like my books and this blog, you probably will, too.  Check it out here.


Wikipedia’s List of Video Game Books

October 8, 2012

Researching the Pac-Mania books led me to Wikipedia’s list of books about video games.  I knew there were a lot of such books, but I never knew there were this many.  Some of the books are technical, covering game design, but a lot are history or memoir or “how to beat” books.  I’ve read or at least seen several on the list, such as Extra LivesThe Ultimate History of Video Games, and Racing The Beam.

The only bad thing about this list?  Arcadian is not on it!


More NES Class Act Binders

September 14, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I told you about the Nintendo Get With It Kit, a Nintendo-ized Class Act Binder.   I still haven’t scored one of my own, but I did recently come across a few variations of this kit on Ebay.

This one is a darker color than the one I showed you in the first post.  I at first thought this was a variation, and it might be, but on second thought, I wondered if it wasn’t age or dirt or dark photography conditions.  If not, the darker color is cool.

This one is the same as the one from the previous post (I think), but it shows us what is actually inside.  You can see the “Pak Source”, which I’d really love to have.  There is also a Nintendo Power index, a Mapping and Data Book (which I think is just a fancy name for notebook) and, perhaps coolest of all, gamepad skins.

Here’s a better angle on the Mapping and Data Book and the gamepad skins.  I think the Angry Video Game Nerd has some of these skins on his controllers.

These things are still a little more expensive than I’d like them to be, but I’m still hoping to score one someday.  I wouldn’t mind having the books and skins, either.




Atari Greatest Hits App for Android

September 7, 2012

Still rocking the Android apps.  Here’s the Atari Greatest Hits app.  I’ve had this installed for a while, but just got around to fooling with it.  When I saw you could get all the games (99 total) for $10, I pulled the trigger.  Another example of my portable nostalgia, and a pretty good one at that.


Music To My Ears

August 17, 2012

I was at the rock climbing gym last night.  Usually, the management plays either classic rock (which I love) or techno (which I don’t) over the sound system.  Last night, though, as I was working my way up a rather complicated 5.10D, I heard something I hadn’t heard before.  It was a cover of the overworld theme of The Legend of Zelda.

This isn’t exactly what I heard last night, but it is close.

I’ve known for a while that individuals and bands and orchestras were all recording versions of the 8-bit Nintendo music.  And it doesn’t surprise me, because as I said in ANESthetized, that music is good music.  Here are a few of these versions.

Quite possibly the best recording of The Legend of Zelda theme ever.  This girl really goes all out!

Metal version of Castlevania.  Not sure if this is “Vampire Killer” or not, but it is cool.

Awesome version of several Metroid themes.


When Animals Attack

August 11, 2012

In a part I cut out of the revised ANESthetized, I wondered about why there were so many games in which the hero was attacked by animals.  There were many of these games, but a few really stand out:

The guy who posted this video did me a favor by numbering the attacking eagles in Ninja Gaiden.  There are also attacking jaguars here as well.

If I understand correctly, everything that attacks in Metroid other than the bosses is an animal.  I likewise commented about this in a part I cut out of the Metroid section of the revised ANESthetized.  Were these animals supposed to be the pirates?  If not, why were they attacking?  Nintendo fixed this in Super Metroid and other sequels by adding actually humanoid pirates, but it remains the one (and only) thing I dislike about this game.  Now that I think of it, you could probably add Zelda here as well.  You could almost add Super Mario Bros. here, but I had the distinct impression that all the attackers in that game were minions of King Koopa.

Rambo.  This was the first time I noticed the animal attacking phenomenon.  Jump to 2:22 to see it in all its “glory”.

Predator.  Jump to 1:04 to see the scorpions attack.

And there are many more beyond these.  And while I really hate to nitpick the NES games that gave me so much joy, I had to admit that this is something I just can’t understand.  Yeah, you need a constant stream of things for the video game hero to kill.  But are these really worthy adversaries for Rambo, Dutch, Ryu, and Samus?  Isn’t it a tragedy when these great warriors are brought down by vermin?  I think so.


Atari T-Shirt

July 24, 2012

I’m not into cosplay.  Not even one bit.  (Yes, I wear a kilt to Scottish activities several times a year, but that’s living my heritage, not cosplay!)  I did, though, want to have a video game t-shirt to wear to the California Extreme Arcade and Pinball event, so I stopped by Target and picked this one up.


Now you might think it is weird that a guy who has been as thoroughly aNESthetized as me would go for an Atari shirt when there was this Nintendo shirt right next to it.



But it actually makes perfect sense.  The Atari shirt is more fitting to the venue, after all, as Atari made lots of arcade games and the Nintendo gamepad is for a home console.  Not only so, but I still have a lot of affection for Atari.  Yes, I am primarily a Nintendo guy.   But Atari was my first love.  Not counting the Telstar Alpha I had as a little kid, the 2600 was my first home console.  I played just about every classic game on that console.  I played it for hours.  ZIn fact, just this morning I saw this video

and I was surprised by how many good memories and feelings it evoked.  Sure, I’m pretty much wedded to Nintendo.  I look at it as the trophy wife.  But Atari was the girl next door for quite a few years, and it is hard to stop caring about those girls.

P.S. – Sega?  Yeah, Sega’s kind of like the your best friend’s hot wife.  You look, but you don’t get that attached.



Turbo GrafX 16 Commercial

June 17, 2012

First Atari took a shot at the NES, then Sega did.  It was inevitable that Turbo GrafX 16 would as well.  Here are a few TG16 spots in which they slam not only the NES but Atari as well.

I actually had a TB16, and it still has some place in my heart.  Not as big a place as the NES, though!


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