Rolling With The Action: Trak Balls, Porn Stars and the 1983 Consumer Electronic Show

It may be difficult for anyone to believe this now, but once upon a time the porn industry was a welcomed participant in the Consumer Electronic Shows (CES), and just about every other electronic trade show in America.

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Pac-Man Headstone in Michigan

  In Clio Genesee County, Michigan, in the Thetford Township Cemetary, Michael Leroy "Pac Man" Luther slumbers for eternity beneath the marble likeness of an arcade game he loved so much. Find a Grave listing According to Jeff Smith of Lapeer, Michigan, an arcade aficionado who shared the photo with me and whose older brother [...]

TV POWW!: The Earliest Televised Video Game Competition From The 70s

Almost 40 years ago, at the very height of Discomania with a capital "D", and only just a few months before Space Invaders would usher in  a national obsession with electronic games,  a forgotten yet  almost imperceptible ancestral link to competitive gaming occurred in Los Angeles, California. This momentary experiment, launched during the infancy of [...]

5 California Arcades in The 80s: Looking Through The Lens of Ira Nowinski

That renowned photo-essayist Ira Nowinski recorded the very beginnings of the video craze in California is something short of a miracle. Most of his work up to that point was more focused on local arts and sociopolitical topics; i.e. "urban renewal" forcing pensioners from their longtime homes, the American migration of Soviet Jews and, of [...]

Photos From The Atari International Asteroids Tournament in San Francisco 1981

They came in droves during the Fall of 1981, players of all ages, filing into convention rooms across the country to compete in The Atari International Asteroids Tournament. Not much information remains on this nationwide event save for a tee shirt here, a small headline there. In fact, a lot of particulars have been lost [...]

Poke-Hoax: The Pokemon Go Church Murder

I love everything about a good gaming urban legend; how they begin, how they spread and how they develop and grow over time.  Usually the kinds of legends I investigate have been developing chapters over a period of decades, in some cases 40 years or more. The extraction of factual evidence is a painstaking process [...]