Tele-Games Pong IV, Sears' version of Pong seq...

Tele-Games Pong IV, Sears’ version of Pong sequel (Pong Doubles), was one of the many consoles that flooded the market by 1977. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

VH-1’s I Love The 80s was a terrible show. Mostly because I’m not convinced they actually loved the 1980s. While the UK got a nice nostalgia show with people that were tied to those nostalgic elements, the US had a bunch of unfunny talking heads who couldn’t properly transform an Optimus Prime toy of all figures because they were too busy drooling over the nude scene in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. I really don’t like the show, although later versions tried to do it better.

But what if you combined the humor and nostalgia? And focused on the subject of video games? Gaming website Retroware decided to find out and created The Video Game Years, a look at the early days of gaming. Tonight we’ll be looking at the first episode, 1977. Originally released in parts, the show is now available as a full-length special and we’re going to look at the debut of handheld gaming, Chuck E. Cheese, Pong clones, cartridge-based game consoles, and the influence of Star Wars on early video games.

If you want to see more episodes or are curious about the presenters, check out Retroware’s website, where they’re hosted, or at least were. They may have stopped making videos or just left the site by now, but if they’re there you can find them.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

2 responses »

  1. Sean says:

    This was a fun show to watch. Plus, I learned some new things. For instance, I didn’t realize that Atari was connected with the creation of the Chuck E Cheese restaurants. That footage brought back memories for me of going to Chuck E Cheese’s the few times I went there as a kid in the 80s. And in 2011, Chuck E. Cheese’s was still going strong because at that time my then girlfriend and I brought her daughter to one for her birthday. The information on the variety of 70s video game systems was fascinating. The introduction of the cartridge revolutionized video games. Also, it was neat to see how Star Wars influenced a plethora of space based games. Finally, I liked seeing the history on the Apple computers. Oregon Trail even holds modern kids’ attention. For example, on the last day of school last June, I had students playing a free online version of Oregon Trail as a way to integrate reading, math, and critical thinking skills. For those kids who had been born in 2003, they all enjoyed playing this computer game from the late 80s/early 90s.

    On a final note, it looks like joystick jokes are still very common. I like how these video game folks followed the same model as the VH-1 decade shows, yet seemed to improve upon the concept.


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