The Minds Behind The Games - Title

The Minds Behind The Games By Patrick Hickey Jr.

On the site as well as the Diary podcast, I have made my statement about the need to document the history of video games. While we are still able to in fact from those that worked in the industry back in the day. Which is of course why I was glad when Patrick Hickey Jr. contacted me last week. As he so happens to have written a book entitled The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers.
The Mind Behind The Games - cover A

I have not had the pleasure of reading The Minds Behind The Games as of yet. However here is an exceptional breakdown of the book by way of the press release:
“Who wrote “Romeo & Juliet? Who first sang “Thriller”? Who played Captain America in the last Avengers flick? All of these questions are basic pop culture knowledge that everyone, regardless of their geekdom, knows. But who are the minds behind some of the most influential video games of all-time? Don’t know, right? Don’t use Google, either!

But here’s the bigger question: Why aren’t their names enshrined in our memories, too? Why aren’t these men and women’s names just as synonymous in pop culture lore as those in music, film and literature?

“The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers” is the first video game book of its kind to get access to some of the most iconic and unique video game developers from the past 40 years, from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 4 and even failed consoles the likes of the Ouya and NEMO. 

Didn’t know those consoles existed? It’s just another reason to read this behind the scenes look at the industry, which also features all-new exclusive interviews with everyone from Yars’ Revenge creator Howard Scott Warshaw to NBA Jam mastermind Mark Turmell and Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias. 
The Minds Behind The Games - Howard Scott Washaw - Steven Spielberg

Written by award-winning journalist and educator Patrick Hickey Jr., the book contains profiles of 36 of the coolest video games ever created. 

“We know so much about video games, but we know so little about the amazing people that made them,” Hickey said. “That was the main reason I decided to write this book. Imagine 36 episodes of VH1’s Behind the Music. That’s what this book is- an unaltered, behind-the-scenes look at some of the coolest, infamous and unique games ever made.”

Seeing a problem that desperately needed to fixed, Hickey reached out to some of the most iconic video game developers David Crane (Pitfall), Garry Kitchen (Donkey Kong) and Rob Fulop (Night Trap, Missile Command) and many more- the end result was a passion project that would finally give the greatest minds in video games their due.”

You can order the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble right this minute. For those of us that can see the importance of the history of video games. This is obviously a pretty important tome to say the least.

I may not have had the opportunity to check out The Minds Behind The Games yet. That does not mean however that you cannot check out what others have said about it.


For example the Huffington Post, Forbes, and the New York Daily Post!

SNES Omnibus - Brett Weiss - Schiffer Publishing

The SNES Omnibus Is Available For Pre-Order!

Retro gamers, nostalgia buffs and anyone who enjoys reading about video games can now take a sneak peek at Schiffer Publishing’s forthcoming video game book, The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M), written by longtime gamer and author Brett Weiss. The book features detailed write-ups for more than 350 games, plus 2,000 full-color images, including box art, cartridges, screenshots, and vintage gaming ads.
SNES Omnibus - Adventures of Yogi Bear

In addition to Weiss’s write-ups for each game, The SNES Omnibus features nostalgic stories by a number of prominent gaming professionals, including Blake J. Harris (author of Console Wars), Kurt Kalata (Hardcore Gaming 101), Tim Lapetino (author of Art of Atari), Shawn Long (RGT 85 on YouTube), Brittney Brombacher (BlondeNerd.com), Eric “8-Bit Eric” Perez (YouTuber), Christopher “The Old Ass Retro Gamer” Pico (YouTuber), Benjamin Reeves (senior editor for Game Informer), John Riggs (RIGG’d Games on YouTube), David Warhol (one of the original Mattel Intellivision “Blue Sky Rangers”), Steve Woita (longtime programmer for Atari 2600, Genesis, etc.), and too many others to list.
SNES Omnibus - Aero Fighters

The SNES Omnibus is a large (9×12), full color, hardcover coffee table book weighing in at 416 pages. $49.99. The book will be available late spring or sometime this summer.
SNES Omnibus - Donkey Kong Country 3

You can get more information on the book here:
http://www.brettweisswords.com/p/the-snes-omnibus-vol-1-m.html
SNES Omnibus - Arkanoid

Or check it out on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/SNES-Omnibus-Super-Nintendo-M/dp/0764355325/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
SNES Omnibus - Art of Fighting

Here are some early reviews for The SNES Omnibus!


“I read the whole thing and loved it! My favorite chapters were the more intimate ones, where the contributing writers talked about how the games affected them from a personal standpoint…I kept turning the pages looking to connect with the writers, and it happened a lot…The quotes and factoids are great…Grammatically, it’s spotless…There’s a plethora of balance, knowledge, and fun here…This is the best book Weiss has written so far.” – Patrick Hickey, Jr., author of The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers

“Brett Weiss proves again that he is the master of game directories”- Leonard Herman, author of Phoenix IV:The History of the Videogame Industry.

“Brett Weiss has captured an essential part of what made the SNES indelible and one of the classic video game systems. The personal stories and memories wrapped up in each game are a welcome time warp back to those halcyon days.” – Tim Lapetino, author of Art of Atari.
SNES Omnibus - Brett Weiss - Back Cover

The Bridge - Peter J. Tomasi - Sara DuVall - Abrams Comicarts

The Bridge Is A Beautiful And Moving Graphic Novel

It shouldn’t shock a single soul that visits this site, that history is important to us. Sure, we spend most of our writing time pointing out the best in retro pop culture. However, even then we have constantly gone back and shared real moments of history. Whilst in my case it might focus more on horror films, video games, and animation. The truth is I of course am always eager to learn more about significant history. Which is exactly the case with Peter J. Tomasi and Sara DuVall’s upcoming graphic novel, The Bridge. I have not had the pleasure of reading a more entertaining as well as fascinating graphic novel in some time.

Abrams Comicarts was kind enough to send me a review copy of The Bridge. I picked it up last evening to read, and the 200 pages all but flew by. I will certainly admit I had never heard of Washington and Emily Roebling before opening the book. Nor of course, was I aware of how truly remarkable a journey Washington’s life had been. Thankfully through Peter J. Tomasi’s dream project, in addition to the beautiful artwork by Sara DuVall. You too will have the chance to find out, the type of vision and determination that was needed to see the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. As well as the absolute toll it took on both Washington’s health and the tragic loss of life it required to bring such a marvel of engineering to fruition.
The Bridge - Brooklyn Bridge

Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay Tomasi is he forced me to seek out more books about the Roeblings. The Bridge starts out in 1852, with a young Washington in some ways being molded by John Roebling, his Father. Or rather being forged into the type of person who could successfully bring about the Brooklyn Bridge. A project planned out by John and begun with his Son in 1869. It was however Washington who oversaw the actual construction.
The Bridge - Sara DuVall

A Civil War veteran, whose actions would be quite befitting a film itself, Washington Roebling wasn’t alone in his vision of the bridge. Emily Roebling proved what those of us who live in an “enlightened” age already know. There is not a single job or task that a Woman isn’t equally capable of performing. When her Husband’s health was threatened, it was Emily who ensured the project was on schedule. Supporting the Roeblings was a dedicated crew, men truly risking their lives to see the dream take shape. Just as, of course, Washington did himself – which is how he earned that respect.
The Bridge - Washington Roebling

With Tomasi and DuVall’s The Bridge, I have no doubt you will be just as amazed as I was. The story is both exhilarating and uplifting, a reminder of the good that can be accomplished for a noble endeavor. You can pick up a copy of the book on April 17th at better book dealers everywhere. Of course you can visit Abrams Comicarts official page to pre-order your copy today.

While you are waiting to grab your copy of The Bridge. Why not check out this clip from PBS America?

[Via] PBS America

Flintstone - Fred Flintstone

Yabba-Dabba-Don’t: Scandal Rocks The Flintstones!

Meet the Flintstones. Are they a modern Stone Age family or a family with a hidden past?

Flintstones - Betty and Barney Rubble

Neighbors Betty and Barney Rubble
“We thought they were so nice!”

Fred works at the local quarry and is a popular member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos. Other than occasionally being caught talking to an invisible friend Gazoo, Fred seems like an average Bedrock citizen.

[Via] D S

He was the star of a popular television series in the 1960s and is still a celebrity. It is impossible to waltz up and down the cereal isle without finding Fred on a cereal box. Unfortunately, it is all a sham. Karen Williams and a team of investigative reporters for The Retroist have uncovered undeniable evidence that Fred and Wilma have a sordid secret history that escaped the light of public knowledge.

When we first met the Flintstones, they were living under the assumed name the Flagstones. That should have been the first sign of a hidden secret. But shortly afterwards, Fred and Wilma’s hit TV series premiered and everyone forgot about their past.

What if they were living under a different name because they were trying to hide something? Or better yet…someone? Before we go any further, we should introduce the players in this unsolved mystery.

“Meet Fred Flintstone …
His boy Junior ….
Daughter Pebbles ….
Wilma his wife …..”

I know what most of you are thinking – who is Junior? What if cute little Pebbles wasn’t Fred and Wilma’s first child? What if they had a long forgotten son, Fred Flinstone, Junior? I know it sounds like the plot from an outlandish cartoon, but we have found undeniable proof.

Before September of 1960, when the Flintstones TV show premiered, Fred and Wilma were totally unknown, so William Hanna and Joseph Barbera began a publicity campaign. For adults, Fred and Barney promoted beer and cigarettes.

[Via] ToonORama

[Via] WeeL

For kids, there were Flintstone comic books and story books. And appropriately enough, that is where our story begins. These images come from the great site – Golden Gems.
Flintstones - Little Golden Book Cover

In 1961, Little Golden Books published their first book about the Flintstones.
Flinstones  - LBG Opening Shot

A few years before Pebbles was born, the Flintstones were Fred, Wilma, and Junior. While grilling, a little dinosaur snuck up and ate every hamburger that Fred had cooked. Fred was furious, but Junior thought the little dinosaur was adorable. After pleading with him, Fred gave in and let Junior keep the little dinosaur as a pet.
Flintstones - Junior and Harvey

Junior named him Harvey and built him a dinosaur house. Harvey was happy, but the more Junior fed him, the more Harvey grew.
Flintstones - Giant Harvey

Harvey grew so large that finally, Fred put his foot down and sent Harvey away. A few days later, Fred was fishing in a little row boat when a storm suddenly appeared and capsized his boat.
Flintstones - Fred's Boat Sinking

Harvey saw that Fred was in trouble and rescued him. After this, Fred decided that having a giant dinosaur for a pet wasn’t so bad after all.
Flintstones - Harvey the Dinosaur - Final page

And, they all lived happily ever after? Yeah, right! What do you think this is – a cartoon? While Fred and Wilma became famous, Junior and Harvey were never heard from again. Inquiring minds want to know – what happened to Junior and Harvey?
Flintstones - Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm

We interviewed Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but they claimed that they’ve never heard of Junior or Harvey. I don’t trust any of the Flintstones, but Pebbles may be telling the truth since she wasn’t born until 1963.

We also interviewed Fred Flintstone, but he is old and unfortunately his memory is fading. So, he was no help.
Rip Van Flintstone

The mystery remains regarding The Flintstones – what happened to Fred Flintstone, Junior?


Flintstones - Junior Flintstone - Milk Carton

If you have any information about Junior’s final fate, please contact any of The Retroist staff.