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A Forgotten Pioneer in the Video Game Industry

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Recently, my sister sent me a photo of a video game pioneer who to me was a forgotten pioneer in the Game Industry. He was an important figure amongst other legendary names such as Ralph Baer, Nolan Bushnell, Shigeru Miyamoto, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. These are trailblazers that paved the way for software and video game entertainment for the future. I would like to share a forgotten pioneer of the Game Industry named Jerry Lawson.

Here is the biography of Jerry Lawson:

https://www.biography.com/people/jerry-lawson-21330375

Jerry Lawson was the first black video game pioneer, and he changed they way home consoles are used. He created the Channel F game console and came out in the market in 1976. Channel F was the first game console to provide video game cartridges to insert into the game console instead of buying another console with the same name to play another video game. The Magnavox Odyssey was the very first TV game console, but it wasn’t cartridge compatible at the time. You get only one game to play for the one game console you purchased. Therefore, the one video game was embedded in the game console. Jerry’s innovation of producing game cartridges for a game console paved the way for Atari, SEGA, Nintendo, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony Playstation. Jerry’s innovation meant a lot for the Indigenous American community (African-American). It is very important for game fans worldwide to observe this piece of History. Although he is no longer with use peace be upon him we should acknowledge his achievements when we play video games.

Here is the video of Jerry Lawson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMmrC1RUP_0

Jon Bynoe

WHO classifies 'gaming disorder' as mental health condition

It has been a while since I have written a blog for Gamespot. Since my full-time job requires me to make long commutes from home to work everyday. Now, I am on a two-week vacation (staycation) from the hectic travel and work, so I have a little bit of time write and share this blog to the gaming community. In the past, I have written and posted links related to video game addiction, and other related addictions such as mobile phones, internet, social media, TV, and gambling addictions that are right across the board with electronics and technology of our generation.

We as human beings have lost the natural skill of performing critical thinking along with possessing the interest of interpersonal interaction with one another instead of being heavily dependent on social media. All in all, we completely disconnect ourselves from the natural world. If we think about it, there are so many addictions, back in the previous century, we think of drugs and alcohol as addictions. Then when we noticed the rising growth of obesity in North America, we look at Fast Foods and overeating as an addiction. Since video games were invented in the 1970’s, people who lived in that era (the era of Hippies, Disco music, Divas and the Vietnam War) never thought that TV games would be an addiction, let alone an individual having a gaming disorder as a mental illness. When the 1980’s rolled in, video games were everywhere, viewers were being overwhelmed with video game ads through catalogues and TV commercials. You can play video games at home in front of your TV, and it expanded into handheld, portable games, and at Video Arcade areas from across the city. The video game industry became so big, nobody thought it can consume people, especially the youth alive in a bad way. Video games has become the most favourite topic to talk about in the schoolyard and other social events that young folks go to.

I admit to myself, that I was a video game addict, and I guess that is the reason I bring up this topic occasionally. In the 90’s my addiction to video games became noticeable and this was before the era of HDTV games, and the big online gaming boom. I was nicknamed the “Video Game King.” I was into video games so much, I can picture the images when I close my eyes, I always think about video games and talk about video games. It became a serious issue when I procrastinate and lose interest in doing mundane task, such as house cleaning or starting a homework assignment from school. My parents were strict and enforced a time limit on my game time. During the school week, no video games, the weekend I can play video games. I found that it is a very common disciplinary action parents take to their kids who are addicted to video games. It was hard for me to discipline myself to play games moderately instead excessively everyday. One treatment that worked for me, was writing out a schedule/timetable, like teachers give to their students on their first day of school. I write an outline on when I eat my meals, when my reading time is, when I go outside and play etc. It took me a couple of years to get out of my addiction.

Parents notice their children becoming addicted to technology to the point where they punish their children extremely, and I’m not talking about physically abusing their kid, but taking their device (cell-phone, laptop, game console), and breaking it, and I have seen YouTube videos on this. I find it too much. I think that taking their game console away from them and lock it in a personal safe or something like that if they are playing too much games, or that their marks in school are declining is just enough to discipline your kid. In my youth, most of the kids got outside interacted with each other and got some exercise. Video game addiction and gamin disorder was not looked at seriously during the 80’s and 90’s, at that time the controversy was that violence in video games was setting a bad influence on kids hence the ESRB rating system being implemented in 1994, although I digress. Nowadays, kids are not interested in doing recreational activities with other kids, they just live a sedentary lifestyle. Also, think of their diet, their eating habits. The youth can get so addicted to gaming, that they don’t get much sleep, and the worse case scenario, they barely eat. Then there are game addicts who are overweight, due to eating too much processed foods, and living a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, you have underweight game addicts and overweight game addicts.

There are many addictions to think of these days that we must be aware of such as drugs and alcohol, TV (the couch potato effect), video games, shopping (mostly a habit in female youths and also linked to video game addicts mostly in males spending money on the games they want to get) gambling, food (can be fast foods, or sweets, exercise (which I consider the lesser of multiple evils), addiction to trying to look handsome, beautiful or look thin (is related to eating disorder such as anorexia), and Internet Addiction. When you subcategorize Internet Addiction you get online gaming, information addiction (which I consider the lesser of multiple evils at least you are getting your education), gambling online, and addiction to X-rated content (I made the effort in modifying the terminology suitable for this website). We as human beings must redeem ourselves, discipline ourselves, and take control of your own destiny. I am not saying the Video game industry should shut down; or should be ban out of the continent. I love video games, but you got to know when to put down the controller and do something more productive.

Here is the link to the CNN article and video of the World Health Organization classifying Video Game addiction as a Gaming Disorder as a Mental Disorder:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/health/video-game-disorder-who/index.html?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

Here is a definition of Addiction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction

Jon Bynoe

Young Men Are Playing Video Games Instead of Getting Jobs. That's OK. (For Now.)

I was in my 20's with a small part-time job playing video games full time...at least 2 hours per day. However, I find it awkward if the youth a our generation are becoming less interested in advance schooling, looking for a full-time steady job or a career to make a living instead of wasting their young years living a sedentary lifestyle, living under their parent's roof playing hours a day of video games as a non income job?

Here is the article: http://reason.com/archives/2017/06/13/young-men-are-playing-video-ga?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

Jon Bynoe

Who Remembers StarCraft Ghost?

I recently read an online article called StarCraft Ghost: What went wrong? I remember when I was hooked on WarCraft 3 and was an active Forum member on battle.net, that there were so many talks and suggestions on the then upcoming game StarCraft Ghost. I never played any of the Starcraft games before, but I'm most likely a fan of action/adventure games. It was supposed to come out on the PS2 and Xbox. Yeah. It was that long ago, back in the day. We were waiting for years and little did I know, that there multiple cancellations and resheduling conflicts until 2006, they pulled the plug on the project leaving many fans disappointed. Starcraft Ghost was a game that went into development and was never completed, never released.

So here is the lengthy article http://www.polygon.com/2016/7/5/11819438/starcraft-ghost-what-went-wrong

Jon Bynoe

Reflections on the Atari: Game Over Documentary

I never knew that this documentary that I viewed recently was on Netflix. I first watched the trailer over a year ago on gamespot, and I thought that this documentary was very significant in the History of the Video Game industry. The documentary was about the infamous collapse of the gaming industry in America in 1983 and that millions of ET Video Game cartridges were buried in a dump site in Alamogordo, New Mexico because it was widely believed that the game was the worst game in the world. My first game console was the Atari 2600 (originally it was my older brother and sister’s console before it was passed down to me). I never recalled having and playing the ET video game before. So I really have no say whether if the game was bad.

Burying millions of cartridges in a New Mexico dump site was the stuff of Urban Legend. Although many people at that time may have overreacted and mainly targeted on the one movie licenced game and the designer Howard Warshaw for the crash of the Video Game industry. I felt that was unfair. They were many factors here, one thing was that Warshaw was pressured to make the game within a month and one week (5 weeks) to make the game, so it was a rushed product. Another thing was that Atari and its other competitors, Mattel and Coleco were making and releasing video games too quickly, and the majority of people were saying that the games were too hard and confusing. Therefore, consumers were lacking which made Atari dump millions of their copies of video games which contribute to the market being saturated.

Here is the link to Atari games burial site:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_video_game_burial

Not only were there ET cartridges being buried in the New Mexican landfill site, there were other Atari 2600 games and its hardware devices that were found. It was a dark day for the Video game industry in the year of 1983 which lasted for two years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983

The message of this documentary is that it is alright to dig up the past in understanding your roots. It is important to learn history because the events of the past would not repeat itself. I feel that it is right for every game critic and game fans to have their own opinions. The only urban legend was that the ET video game is the worst game ever made and that Howard Warshaw is a terrible game designer and he was the reason for the Video Game industry to crash. There are people who liked the ET game and others that disliked the game and other video games they may have liked or disliked at that time. If you are reading video game magazines and view game reviews on the internet such as gamespot, there is one author writing his or her own opinion on the game. It is best to absorb different people’s thoughts and opinions on a particular video game, and then play the game yourself to see if it’s for you or not. When it comes to movie licensed games, I feel that there are some good ones out there that I have played and there are ones that are not for me. On the other hand, the really good movie licensed games can get tiring of playing it.

There are classic games being sold on EBay and Amazon, there may be some at your local Flea Market. Many people may try to deny the sense of nostalgia; simply saying “those days are over” or “that’s all in the past, I’m focused on the now and the future.” However, we go back and reminisce about our childhood favourite actors, artists, TV shows, and movies while growing up. Video games are no exception. There is no denying that there is a big part of me that regretted selling my old game consoles, Atari 2600 was not working, so that was thrown out along with its games, SEGA Master System I owned in the early 90’s was sold along with its games in a garage sale, Super NES I owned in the 90’s up to 2001 was sold away along with its games, my PS1, I traded it in for a PS2. I currently have the PS2 under my bed, and I currently have a PS4. I wished I had built a gallery or shrine for my old video games as a historical replica. I may be called a hoarder, but it is for good reason. If there was a resale of those old games or if there is a collection of classic games, I would buy them back. A new generation of kids will never hear of old game consoles. We need to show our children the history of video games if it is their favourite past-time. If you show a millennial generation kid a game from NES or Atari 2600 they would say, “man those graphics suck.” However, that is the early years of how video games were made, and overtime it evolved.

I felt that Howard Warshaw was so much underappreciated due to the video game crash of 1983. I thought that movie licensed game started in the 8-bit era with Ghostbusters, Rambo, Rocky, etc. but it was Atari that pioneered movie licensed games, so we can live out our favourite movies in a video game. Warshaw created some good games such as Yar’s Revenge, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Warshaw’s philosophy was that a video game has to be created where it can be challenging, not too easy because the player can get tired of playing it quickly, not too difficult for the player because the player can be frustrated and lose interest in playing the game, it has to have the balance to make the game interesting for long term. I felt that Warshaw is a pioneer of that generation and his philosophy and his creativity paved the way for the future of video games. I think he deserves a lifetime achievement award and be inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame.

Here is the link for Howard Warshaw’s biography:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Scott_Warshaw

Franchise Game Characters & Titles

I have heard of and played many video games that have a continuous series for years, especially sports games (although I’m not big on playing sports games). Then there are the genres of Action/Adventure games, Fighting games, RPG, racing games and Strategy games. From various game genres comes memorable, iconic characters (or should I say in the Donkey Kong Country Universe video game heroes). While growing up in the video game realm and playing it as a hobby, and as a grown up, being a fan I noticed past and present video games and its main characters have a long running series, and eventually for better or worse, they were being adapted into film and television.

If you know about video games, but never heard of Super Mario, then you don’t know anything about video games. The character which Nintendo created in the early 1980’s never at first been thought of as a franchise character name. Many people thought that the character who first appeared in Donkey Kong would be just another arcade classic to play until fans would get tired of playing it. But a few years later when Nintendo launched its first game counsel the NES, Super Mario was going to make a big splash to young and old audiences alike with a series of game sequels and other games for the handheld console Gameboy. Around that time another video game franchise came along from Nintendo called the Legend of Zelda starring the elf character Link. It was the Golden Age of the gaming industry. Super Mario Bros. and the Legend of Zelda franchises were put into a Saturday morning cartoon TV series in the early 90’s. Who remembered Super Mario Bros. the movie which came out around 1993? I guess no one, since that movie is easily forgettable and no doubt had bombed in the box office. However, making a popular franchise game, and adapting it into a TV show or a movie was a good idea…sometimes can be a bad idea, but at least it can draw in movie buffs too, and get gaming fans into watching movies. Despite the Super Mario Bros. movie being unsuccessful, it paved the way for video games being adapted into movies. The two franchises that stick out more in gaming has been Super Mario and Link for the Legend of Zelda because of their longevity in pop culture, and they are still around for 30+ years, drawing in a new generation of young game fans. Donkey Kong Country, is quite popular when Nintendo launched the video game back in 1994 and had its cartoon TV show in 1997.

I always felt that Super Mario really opened its doors to other franchise games and iconic video game heroes in the 90’s and beyond. One that sticks out most is Tomb Raider, starring Lara Croft, and adventurer and archeologist where people thought she was a carbon copy of Indiana Jones, but far from it. The Tomb Raider franchise have more than 10 games that is sequels and the latest prequels. Tomb Raider has two movies Tomb Raider and its sequel subtitled The Cradle of Life. Although Tomb Raider is not a game for kids, it is still popular among fans who own a PlayStation or any other game consoles. There is also the Street Fighter II franchise, one of the longest video game fighting series in video game and Arcade lore, which put the fighting game genre on the map and may have made dojos all over world thrive with an influx of students. Started out in 1987 with Street Fighter with only two playable characters has launched a huge successful sequel in 1991. In 1994 Street Fighter the Movie came out (yet another forgettable movie), despite box office success, it had so many bad reviews and everybody said that the movie, and its plot was not good. However, the animated movie version which first came out in Japan made up for the lackluster action movie that starred Jean Claude Van-Damme playing Guile. In 2009, another Street Fighter movie came out subtitled The Legend of Chun’Li. Street Fighter’s main competing game franchise Mortal Kombat is a popular game series bursting onto the scene in the mid 1990’s showing the bloodiest, gory fighting game ever which sparked a traumatic change in the gaming industry and getting heat from the government to the parents of the level of violence in games forced the industry in making the ESRB rating system. MK was also adapted into two mainstream movies Mortal Kombat and its sequel subtitled Annihilation. Who could not ignore one of the latest franchise video game Assassin’s Creed. The main hero of the game changes in nearly every game series set in real historical events which centers around the European Assassin’s against the sinister Knight’s Templars locked in a covert war, which I find unique because is not just a game to play on your free time, it is a game that gives you a level of education in historical settings along with historical figures. I find the Assassin’s Creed series ahead of its time and in 2016 we will be looking at seeing a movie. The longest running video game series that sticks out in everyone’s mind next to Super Mario is Final Fantasy, a game that revolutionized the RPG genre. A role-playing game that game out of the 80’s video games golden age and it’s still alive and kicking until this day for long time fans and to the new generation of fans. The game’s franchise also made it into movie theatres subtitle Spirits Within. There is also Sonic the Hedgehog created by Nintendo’s former competitor SEGA, was a popular video game hero that kids loved, since SEGA’s struggle in the gaming industry forcing them to convert into a third party publisher/developer for the current game consoles in 2001, Sonic the Hedgehog is kind of overlooked today as a big popular game character next to Super Mario. Does anybody remember that Sonic had a cartoon TV series on Saturday mornings? It is true. And who had that thought that a video game such as the Prince of Persia be a popular game? Wasn’t big from the start at the level of Super Mario and Zelda, but it made a big comeback in the early 2000’s with a trilogy along with a movie subtitled The Sands of Time.

There had been games that were novelized such as Halo, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. The popularity with those games and its series of games made it very successful mainstream cross-over into literature, and there may be movies around the way based on these games. It will not only inspire a new generation of video game designers and those breaking into the video game industry, but it can inspire them to be novelists or anything related in that field. There are Fan Fiction forums all over the internet is the place to publish their stories based on their favourite video games.

There had been other video games and characters to think of that had a series of games, but no longer, feeling that the companies that created them had ran its course. Characters such as Jak & Daxter created by Naughty Dog. Who would ever have thought that they would no longer make any more games of those characters. I have the first three games on my PS2. There was a prequel game centered around Daxter for the PSP, that’s all they made on them; not to mention that racing game called Jak X Racing. In my opinion, Naughty Dog could’ve made Jak & Daxter a long running franchise instead of letting it fade into history. They could’ve also kept around Crash Bandicoot, who was popular in the late 90’s, but I didn’t see it happening as a character that would be a big franchise gaming character because the plot was repetitive lacking creativity, but what lacked in the plot creativity department made up in decent gameplay. Also Spyro the Dragon, another character that Sony created geared towards the kiddie audience didn’t have quite the longevity. How about Kratos from God of War? Would more games be made sequels or prequels, spin-offs and what not on Kratos? Or Nathan Drake with its fourth game Uncharted coming out next year? Would Drake be another long running series and will it runs its course by the end of this decade? How about that other game Naughty Dog created called the Last of Us? Although I see the game coming out in a trilogy and that would be it.

There are so many video game characters so memorable that there are many of them that have a longevity. While some are no longer around, there are some that are still around from Super Mario to Lara Croft, to fighting games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken have so many sequels, prequels and remakes. From Final Fantasy to World of Warcraft, the titles, the characters, the imaginative world draws us to fandom and keep us hooked in many ways.

Video Games being Remastered: Nothing New Under the Sun

For those who have been game fans, gamers, or whatever you call yourselves, or involved in the video game industry, you will recall there have been games that have been re-released or just say remastered back in the early years of gaming. In the current state of the gaming industry, we are all seeing familiar video games that are being re-released for the new generation of game consoles, which gets a strong positive feedback on how game fans feel.

Back in the day of video games, when I was a kid, one game that sticks out in my mind that was a remastered collection edition to the game and that was Super Mario All-Stars for the Super NES. That game was a collection of Mario games that were played for the Nintendo’s first game console, the NES. The game featured Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, including Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels (American subtitle). A very hard 2D adventure game which features a poison mushroom that can kill Mario if he comes into contact with it. What I recently found out was that this Mario game was released in Japan a year or two after the original Super Mario Bros. in the mid 1980’s, formally and supposedly titled Super Mario Bros. 2, which was rejected by the American audience because of the high difficulty of the game (not to mention the NES did not have a save game compatibility). So instead of fighting to get that sequel game into America, Nintendo’s brain child Shigeru Miyamoto came out with the U.S. version of Super Mario Bros. 2. What is special about Super Mario All-Stars, especially for those who had an NES with those Mario games, that graphics were enhanced from 8-bit to 16-bit, the audio and sound effects were enhanced too. The only disappointment of the game was that they didn’t include Donkey Kong, or Nintendo’s pre-home console game Mario Bros. just to understand Nintendo’s roots with the new generation of young gaming fans before there was a Super Mario Bros.

So here is the wiki article on Super Mario All-Stars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_All-Stars

This game was a pre-cursor to the idea of re-releasing games and improving the graphics, and enhancing the sound-effects. Nintendo and other game consoles around that time pushed with the idea to bring back classic Arcade games and enhance the graphics or keep the old, primitive graphics for the sake of nostalgia. Video games such as Pac-man, Pitfall, Frogger, Pong, Donkey Kong, Punch Out, and Street Fighter II were brought out of the ashes and remade and the graphics enhanced, especially such classic titles have a storyline. So the gaming industry caters to the old-school video game audience who want to go back to fond memories and play those classic games again. Another example of old school games being remastered is the Street Fighter II franchise. SFII had many expansions although not exactly sequels. Such SFII games from the classic one to the expansion ones include Street Fighter II: Turbo (Super NES), Street Fighter II Championship Edition (SEGA Genesis), Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. It is only to throw in extra features such as different coloured outfits, clone fights (i.e., Ryu vs. Ryu), extra playable characters, background colour changes for fight scenes, touch up on the graphics new special moves from some of the fighting characters, etc. I believe that this type of practice is a forerunner to expansion packs and Downloadable Content (DLC). Then Capcom’s Street Fighter Franchise re-release their games to the new generation consoles of that time, although the graphics hasn’t changed much, but despite that, old school fans end up purchasing them.

Conscious Parenting Concerning Video Game Content

For those who are parents and have your children involved in video/computer games, we think little about what kind of games your kids are playing, is it a family entertainment type of game or is it a violent game such as First-person shooters. Is your child a video game addict living a sedentary lifestyle? Is your child’s school grades decreasing because more time is spent playing video games instead of doing his or her studies? Or is your child has a good balance between school work, physical activity and screen time?

Here is a video by Lenon Honor on Conscious Parenting Video Game Recommendation. It was worth watching it for me uncase if I have kids of my own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZuyNIG2T90

Since 1994, The game industry brought in changes concerning violent content in the gaming community with such games such as Mortal Kombat and Doom, the ESRB (Electronics Software Ratings Board) implemented game ratings so consumers, especially parents making conscious decisions while purchasing a game for their children. Lenon Honor and his wife Ayida will give you some helpful tips on what games are best for children to play. Ideally, I felt that there are still some good PC games to enjoy for children and family, especially educational games. If you parents like to give your children console games, I say that the gaming company Nintendo is the best route to go with its current console the Wii U. When I started gaming at the age of 4, my first game console was the Atari 2600. Video games at that time weren’t that realistically violent, even in the 8-bit era, but when the 90’s rolled around, video games became more and more realistic, and bolder with the violent content.

I say that if you let your child play games that feature violent content, they may be programmed into disassociating themselves with other people in real life, have limited social ability, and may become violent. I guess that depends on upbringing, if those things happen to the child. It depends on whether or not that the parents are not spending much time with their children and that the child is being indoctrinated by the violent content of the video games 90% of the time and 10% of family time. We live in a world where it seems that advanced technology on electronics are taking over our lives, but it shouldn’t let it take over our lives entirely. It’s sad to think that playing actual sports with actual people is such plain outdated, caveman/primitive era like activity, and that playing sports on computer is the best thing since slice bread. Instead of thinking that sports on a computer of game console is mostly reserved for a rainy day or during those long, cold, winter seasons. It is common sense to balance a child’s free-time, it is more convenient for a child to do a variety of things instead of just vegetating in front of the TV or computer.

The Best Visual Aid to help up your Gaming Skills

The gaming world is coming up with innovative inventions and ways in every decade, and in every generation. Video games are becoming more advanced in graphics, storytelling and especially in gameplay, testing the challenges of gamers alike the world over. In this blog I would like to discuss the evolution of using resourceful Visual Aids to help with your gaming skills.

I remember during the golden age of video games after the gaming industry collapsed, learning how to play the game and receiving tips on how to beat the game goes beyond a simple user’s manual, it goes to strategy guides and tip hotlines to help anyone get pass a difficult level in the game. I hardly purchase strategy guides to help me out since of course I had to spend more money on top the game I purchased. I avoid going on the tip hotlines because my parents would not like to pay more money for their phone bill. I am more skilled to figure ways out for myself without the dependence of these certain visual aids, or discover a cheat code to easily beat the game.

The closest thing in finding helpful tips for free was this gaming news/game show based in Canada called Video & Arcade Top 10 and it cadres only to Nintendo games. The TV show hit the airwaves in 1991. At that time there was no DVD or Blu-Ray players, no IPod, or Tablets; the World Wide Web was a mere few years away, and not to mention it was the time of the console wars between Nintendo and SEGA which was heating up the gaming market in the 90’s. It was a great time for people me to be a video game fan because the TV show was a pop culture classic. It was a type of show I watched on a weekly basis simply because I was a video game geek (proud to be called that). The main host goes by the name Nicholas Picholas (not his real surname). In my opinion the TV show was ahead of its time combining a competitive game show for kid contestants and giving news on the video game world, along with some hints and tips for various Nintendo games. It was better than making your parents pay extra from their monthly phone bill for going on those 1-800 gaming tip hotlines. Maybe a little bit better than purchasing a strategy guide. The TV show was the best thing since slice bread. What I remember most about the show was that TV hosts talk so darn fast like Auctioneers. There were other shows pretty much like that one, but only give news and hints in the gaming world such as Game Nation; another Canadian based video game TV show and Electric Playground; a US base TV show I watched for a while talking about video games. However Video & Arcade sticks out as a precursor to gaming websites such as Gamespot and IGN and others alike providing game hints and cheat codes game previews, reviews and news. For those who never heard of the kid’s game show/video game news show here is the link on a short article about the TV’s main game host and about the show:

http://www.cgmagonline.com/articles/interviews/happened-nicholas-picholas-video-arcade-top-10/

I also suggest to find an episode on youtube whether or not you are familiar with the TV show. I must say that the hints and tips at that time were helpful despite those young adults talking fast.

At the turn of the century getting hints and cheat codes off of the internet was the next step of evolution along with game demos and videos of game experts giving viewers a walkthrough on how to beat a level the easiest way. Youtube was the most popular broadband video website where gamers can post their gaming skills. And that’s what I use from time to time if I am stuck on a level and can’t figure out what to do. Hey, it’s all free getting tips from the experts so I might as well use the resources to my advantage. After purchasing the PlayStation 4 nearly a year ago, I never even thought that the game console features a capture gallery where you can upload a screenshot from a game you played and if you like share it on Facebook. You can also upload a video from a game level you played. Which I find helpful, in order to figure how you beat the level the easiest way or how figured out a perplexing puzzle. I find this a very good visual aid because I felt that it can be overwhelming to retain everything, when playing the game again, especially when playing a very lengthy open-world adventure game. Having a Capture Gallery for game consoles to study the secrets that you have unlocked and what not is not the first idea. The beginnings of saving games as a recording or replay gallery has its roots in PC games. One that sticks out for me is Blizzard’s Warcraft III (there might be other Blizzard games that has that feature prior to the 2002’s hit game). Providing a replay mode for Custom games, LAN (Local Area Network) and online play where after completing a match against the computer or another player(s), a game can be saved as a replay and to be kept as a study guide. It can conveniently help improve your game that way. Another thing is Blizzard fans of Real-time Strategy games and RPG’s of Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo created replay sites where players can upload their replays and fans of those games can download and view the replays to learn the strategies from the experts.

Being a gamer for 28 years, I have seen a lot of changes from primitive 2D pixel graphics to more realistic 3D graphics. There is no exception for getting tips and hints for video games, which served as visual aids, which evolves along with technology in the video game industry. It started out with 1-800 tip hotlines and strategy guides, getting hints and codes from cable TV and VHS videotapes, to CD-ROM game demos, and unto the internet to look for hints and cheat codes and studying videos from the internet to discover the secrets to improve my gameplay ability. I will always adapt to stay current with the times, but I will never forget my roots in the world of gaming or the pioneers that paved the way for gaming evolution and innovation.

Note: I suggest that the video game industry should have a Hall of Fame (if they don’t have one yet) and they should not only induct legendary video game designers, musicians, and pioneers, but they should induct individuals who are professional gamers (current or retired) over the generations, they should induct video game broadcast journalists, hosts, editors and magazine writers, and illustrators because they also deserve to be credited to be our influence and to fuel fan’s interest in Video Games, whether we just play games in our spare time or be involved in the Gaming industry in one aspect or another.

Memorable Video Game Ads

There are many memorable video game ads. Some I’m familiar with which brings back memories on how funny those commercials looked or the hype being put into the product in order for me to say “I want that game.” Then there are some that was before my time, but viewing those types of ads on youtube gives me education on the roots of video game development and evolution. This blog is dedicated to the many classic video game commercials.

70’s and 80’s Video Game commercials featuring both Japanese and western gaming ads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xA2WaVIhto&index=18&list=PLbFBMcHroSc2Dkp9UgP8jN_avJFzv_rm7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CzozMOjcqk&index=19&list=PLbFBMcHroSc2Dkp9UgP8jN_avJFzv_rm7

In the early to mid-90’s was a big boom in the game industry when a new generation of the console wars were big between two big gaming companies colliding for supremacy in the market, it was Nintendo vs. SEGA (Service Games). I remember, while watching my favourite TV shows after school and Saturday morning I saw these commercials, I remember how much SEGA was pushing the envelope, setting ablaze bragging rights, boasting how fast, hip and dominate SEGA was to the Nintendo. Nintendo, however is a franchise powerhouse bringing the gaming industry out of dark times of the great crash which happened the year I was born (1983). The Japanese base company was dominating the TV airwaves along with crossover mainstream publicity from T-shirts, backpacks and cereal boxes to cartoon show for Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda and a cartoon original from Nintendo called Captain N the Game Master. When it comes to video games in particular home consoles, Nintendo was synonymous. I thought Nintendo was over-rated when I was kid growing up in the 80’s. There were other consoles around that time such as Atari 5200 and 7800, although I had at that time the 2600 game console, which was my brother and sister’s and then it was passed down to me when I was old enough to play video games. One other console that stood out was the SEGA Master System, I remember getting that console in Christmas 1990, around that time the Genesis was released. I thought the Master System was good. Looking back however, the Master System was not so much competition for the NES because SEGA was bringing out Arcade based games and at that time had no mascot for the company. Many critics said that SEGA Master System, along with its games came off as second-rate while the NES was way ahead of its time. Nintendo had Mario, Link, Kirby and Donkey Kong. I thought the Master System was under-rated and underappreciated. However, things changed when SEGA created Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis. Then everyone was saying Nintendo met their match. When I was in elementary school Super NES and the Genesis were the most talked about when talking about anything else during recess or lunch break, especially the portable game consoles the Gameboy and SEGA’s Game Gear. Many of my friends say that the Genesis is way better than Super NES. I do recall SEGA sticking it to Nintendo with slogans such as “SEGA Genesis does which Nintendon’t” was not original. Back in the 70’s and 80’s three gaming companies were at war before the great Crash of 1983, Atari with its 2600, Mattel with its Intellivision, and Coleco with its Colecovision. It was Mattel bragging about how better their graphics were from Atari’s 2600.

Super NES vs. SEGA Genesis the most memorable commercials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQeGAcNV9Cc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF8-mo8r1n8

It was in 1993, when I was getting tired of playing the Master System, I was thinking what new game console I want to get for Christmas, was it the SEGA Genesis or was it the Super NES. What is more appealing was the fighting game that was the hottest fighting game at the time Street Fighter II, it can be played on the Super NES. I’ve been told that the Genesis was more expensive than the Super NES. The Genesis, which SEGA tried to sell to the masses so hard saying their graphics is more superior to the Super NES, and that their games is more fast paced than their competitor. I thought that SEGA was kicking Nintendo’s butt in the 16-bit console war for 3 straight years. SEGA came out with add-ons such as SEGA-CD and 32X Adaptor. In Christmas 1993, I got a Super NES, may not be a wise decision. The first two games I got was Super Mario World and Street Fighter II. Other games I got later was Super Mario All-stars, which is really remake versions of the older Mario games from NES including the Lost Levels which was never released with all those classic games having improved graphics and better audio soundtrack. I only wished that they included Donkey Kong in the collection. Despite some of the decent titles, it seemed that Nintendo was losing the console wars. Pumping out Mario games was not really going to outshine Sonic. In 1994, Nintendo revolutionized the gaming industry in the graphics department. Their solution was to bring back Donkey Kong, this time make it an adventure game, along with 3D/32-bit renderings making the graphics look realistic at that time. With the new looking graphics the Super NES don’t need fancy, expensive add-ons such as a CD-ROM drive or a 32X Adaptor, it comes in a normal, traditional game cartridge. The game was called Donkey Kong Country. Nintendo’s developer was Rare. I got that game for Christmas ’94. The software company also created the fighting game Killer Instinct around that time. After that Nintendo had more hot titles at the time along with two more DKC sequels. Nintendo was picking up momentum and at the end the Super NES defeated SEGA Genesis in the 16-bit console war.

There are so many great memorable commercials I found online, so I thought I took the time to share with you some of these video links. I love gaming as a favourite past-time. And I discussed memories of the most significant console war in video gaming History. Including back at older games and see how the graphics look primitive to more robust and rich. Every gamer should know its gaming History.

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