You can't record accurate arcade cultural history by just looking at games and quoting industry statistics. Humanity doesn't live there. It never has. The true story lies in the people who played the games and the arcades who housed them.
People can tell you how many levels, what patterns to follow to beat the levels and how to get a "perfect game". But until now, no one's ever told you how people really played the game in The 80s.
Somewhere in the Midwest, down an old road that leads across a washed out and crumbling bridge, in a stand of overgrown trees and in what appears to be a field on the edge of an industrial tract of land, sits a house that's seen better days. The abandoned house, filmed in December 2016 by … Continue reading Man Discovers Arcade Games in The Basement of An Abandoned House
Honestly, if Atari is hiding their relation to this film, it's not because they're ashamed of having funded it. It's because it's so bad.
Details are still emerging, but the premise of the dispute on Billy Mitchell's record is fascinating and the evidence against its legitimacy compelling in that the story contains the kind of weirdness one has come to expect from Twin Galaxies scoreboard shenanigans.
For this is a tragedy. For him. For classic gaming. For Twin Galaxies. For everyone. We didn't need this. And as angry as it makes me that he lied to us all, in the end we all lied to each other, too, by going along with the charade for as long as we did, when we all knew something was wrong. Some of us for years. We knew, just as we know other "iconic champions" aren't champions at all. They cheated just the same and have been exalted as "legends" and "Kings" even though most of us know damned well that their stories are 100% manufactured.
Sometimes I find myself studying the faces of the people in the photos next to the games or milling around the arcade. They're usually young teenagers, just as I was back then, examples of American naivete and valor rolled up in a fuse so hot that any new interest could ignite it with a single spark. The 80s was an age of unending successive fads...except one. Video games. That was no fad. Falling in electronic-love was never a passing fad as much as people today want to claim it was.