Inspired by a discussion on the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists Yahoo! Group related to the recent VCF East 9.1 event and whether certain computing platforms should or should not be present at the museum location, I decided to offer up my thoughts on the often argued issue of what exactly constitutes "vintage" when it comes to computing hardware. Of course, me being me, I'll touch on videogame and mobile hardware as well.
It has been said that there's no one right answer for what constitutes "vintage," as it's naturally a constantly expanding target due to the simple passage of time. While this is true in the absolute sense, it doesn't mean that we as a community can't create an effective dividing line, no matter how much time passes, particularly once we introduce the concept of "intrinsic value" being tied to "vintage." For instance, I think we can all pretty much agree that generic PC DOS and Windows systems past a certain vintage - say mid-1980s - are generally out, which covers nearly all of the countless PC clones that continue to get produced to this day. It's not that some of these don't meet the basic criteria necessarily, it's that there's nothing notable about these boxes that anyone and everyone, be it a company or individual, could, did, and still do put together. It's even arguable that some of the parts - particularly certain expansion cards, like for video or sound - are worth more than the sum of the box, which is pretty telling for how we should generally value them in our determination of what is "vintage" and worth preserving and appreciating. [read more]
I'm pleased to announce that Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution's second exclusive screening has been lined up, this time at the legendary Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) event in Las Vegas. The event will be held at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, located on the famous Las Vegas Strip, from September 12-14, 2014. When we have details on the exact date and time of the actual screening, we'll post an update.
For those who don't know, CGE is the original retro gaming expo, 15 years in the running, and promises to deliver a gamer's dream from the 1960's classics to today's hottest products, making it an ideal venue for our film. The events and happenings at CGE are extensive, but don't take my word for it. Instead, check out their Website.
Finally, don't forget that our first screening will take place at The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show! from June 6-8, 2014. You can read more about that screening by clicking here.
Episode 14 of Randy Kindig's Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast, entitled, Floppy Days Episode 14 - 2014 CoCoFest Preview, is now out. In the podcast, Randy interviews John Mark Mobley about the upcoming 2014 23rd Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFest. In the podcast, Randy and John discuss all the great things going on at the fest, which runs from April 26 - 27, 2014, in Lombard, Illinois, near Chicago. Among many other attendees, Boisy Pitre and I will be signing copies of our book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, at the event. If you can make it, be sure to say "hi." As always, if you haven't already, you should subscribe to Randy's excellent podcast in the podcatcher of your choice so you're sure not to miss future episodes.
I'm happy to announce that the Website for our documentary film, Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution, is now live. You can check it out at www.gameplaymovie.com. While the Website is still partially a work-in-progress and we'll be making several tweaks and edits over the next few days, I'm glad that it's now available to share additional details beyond the previously released trailer and movie poster. Don't forget that the film also has a Facebook and Google+ presence, so you can keep track of the goings on at those places or right here at Armchair Arcade, with all of the news consolidated here. Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution will have its first screening at the The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show! (their Website) on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Other major screenings are being planned, as well as formal distribution. Enjoy and let us know what you think!
Part 1 is here. To recap, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the second day of Vintage Computer Festival (VCF) East 9.1, which ran from April 4 - 6, 2014. While I wasn't there in any formal capacity, I did get a chance to snap a few pictures of items of interest to me. Here are the photos, taken with my HTC One (M8) smartphone, with some light commentary (Part 1 is here):
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the second day of Vintage Computer Festival (VCF) East 9.1, which ran from April 4 - 6, 2014. The event featured workshops, seminars, vendor displays, a small flea market area, and full museum access. While I wasn't there in any formal capacity, I did get a chance to snap a few pictures of items of interest to me. Evan Koblentz and crew put on a great show at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey, which also plays host to several active sub-museums, some of which are tied to the venue's previous life as the Camp Evans base and radio technology hotspot. Here are the photos, taken with my HTC One (M8) smartphone, with some light commentary (Part 2 is here):
The excellent and lengthy RetroGaming RoundUp podcast has an interview with my co-author on CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, Boisy Pitre, both about the book and topics related to Radio Shack's Color Computer (CoCo) series, in their latest episode, 72, entitled Craggley Trees. The show runs a beefy five hours, 48 minutes, and 39 seconds, and, as usual, is just packed with contact. You can find the interview with Boisy at the very beginning of the episode in their monthly Hardware Flashback segment.
Just a reminder, if you're going to be at VCF East 9.1 this weekend, both Boisy and I will be there this Saturday, April 5, as well as at CoCoFEST! 2014, which is in the Chicago area, April 26 and 27, 2014. If you're there, be sure to say hi to us. Enjoy!
I'm thrilled to announce that the trailer for the film I helped write and produce, Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution, is now out. The film covers the history of videogames and includes exclusive interviews with some of the industry's biggest names. Don't forget, Gameplay will have its world premiere screening at The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show!, which takes place from June 6-8, 2014, at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in Tacoma, Washington. More screenings and distribution details to follow. Let us know what you think of the trailer!
The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show! takes place from June 6-8, 2014, at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in Tacoma, WA, and will feature a special advance screening of our feature film documentary, Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution. The film will be shown at the event one time only, Saturday, June 7, 8PM. It was an honor being a writer and producer on this film and I look forward to the public reaction to its first showing. More details of other events and final distribution will follow. In the mean-time, check out The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show's press release for the showing of the film:
"From Pong to Pac-Man and Super Mario to Lara Croft, Doom, Grand Theft Auto and beyond… announcing the brand new feature documentary about the history of video games entitled Gameplay: The Story of the Videogame Revolution. This film will have a special advance screening at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show 2014, one showing only, on Saturday June 7 at 8pm.
The documentary is the story of how an idea in 1972 changed the way the world plays games, forever. Be a part of the journey as you witness the birth of the arcade game, and then ride along with the many amazing individuals who harnessed the art and technology, evolving it to new levels. The film features never-before-seen interviews with Nolan Bushnell, David Crane, Noah Falstein, John Romero, Todd Howard and many more. See the changes for yourself, as video games evolve from “User Friendly” to “Lifestyle.” It’s a roller coaster ride through the decades, with many stories of success and failure that you will witness firsthand. Don’t miss out on being the first in the world to see this true film experience of how video games have shaped society. When the credits roll, you’ll be left pondering where the future of video games will journey to next.
Vintage Computer Festival (VCF) East is a hands-on, family-friendly celebration of computer history. Activities include a book sale, classes, consignment sale, exhibit hall, food, lectures, museum tours, prizes, vendors, workshops, and more. Why "9.1"? 9.0 was skipped in 2013 due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. VCF East takes place April 4-6, 2014, at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey. This is the first time the event will take place over three days. For full details, check out the attached PDF flyer or visit the Website. Personally, I'll likely only be able to make it for the Saturday event, but all three days are definitely worth checking out. Let us know if you're going!