I will admit when I first stumbled upon Video Games: A Public Perspective, which was a 1982 public service video for communities worried about video games and arcades, I felt it would be best if I waited until Atari Day to publish it. Then as what usually happens, I just get so excited about finding something this awesome that I just have to immediately share it. During the Golden Age of the Arcades it is certainly easy to see why Atari would fund Video Games: A Public Perspective – the older people who are interviewed at the beginning of the video sums up a lot of the fears that were running rampant back in the day.
As was demonstrated in that YouTube video by Patrick Scott Patterson, it’s not like video game worries have ever actually ceased to be a concern for certain groups. Before I dive into why you should set aside your time to watch Video Games: A Public Perspective, I need point out that until yesterday I didn’t even know it existed. It was all thanks to the historians over at Atarimania who shared this community awareness pamphlet, which besides offering a VHS copy of Video Games: A Public Perspective also added the option for an industry spokesperson to appear in front of a concerned community group!
Image courtesy of Atarimania.
Image courtesy of Atarimania.
Now then, I feel that bit of history alone is worthy of a post, to show how Atari was trying to get out ahead of the very same fears that managed to cause pinball to be banned for so long. However the video itself offers an absolutely fascinating look at Atari in it’s heyday.
Video Games: A Public Perspective features interviews with the likes of Dona Bailey, who of course designed the Atari classic Centipede back in 1981. In addition she just so happens to live in my neck of the woods although as far as I know, she has yet to visit the arcade.
Another amazing thing is seeing glimpses of the arcades as they were at the height of their popularity. Packed with children and parents and rows of arcade games, like 1981’s Space Fury by Sega!
What I found quite surprising was how many level-headed concerns and solutions as well were brought up in this video. Granted most of them fall on the side of pro-video games, with my favorite being Vinnie Settembre – who looks like he can whip up a mean pizza!
Enough of my babbling, I hope you are ready for a little trip back in time with Video Games: A Public Perspective!
Those of us that grew up in the late 70s or early 80s all know that arcade games were kind of a big deal. One of those reasons is you literally could find an arcade game in nearly every location imaginable – from the convenient store down the street to your local movie theater. Using every ounce of your skill and reflexes to keep your game going as long as possible was hard work. You could certainly work up quite a thirst and a nice cold Coca-Cola went a long way to refreshing any gamer. Having said that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Coca-Cola tested the waters of mixing gaming and purchasing their product with 1983’s Catch A Coke “Arcade” game.
In all honesty, I never even knew this was something that Coca-Cola had approached back in 1983. Although it is most definitely a novel concept and one I wish would have been widely adopted. I learned of the Catch A Coke vending machine game by way of an old issue of Electronic Games.
One of the many benefits of working at an arcade in this day and age is plenty of vintage reading material. As well as the chance to flip through them on a regular basis for fodder for these articles, right? Back to the Catch A Coke “Arcade” game, the goal was for the consumer to play as a Coke delivery man who must attempt to catch Coca-Cola cans being tossed by a mischievous monkey.
Apparently the Coca-Cola vending machine owner could set the Catch A Coke game to last anywhere from 10 second to 20 seconds. I can only assume that at a busier location, the vending machine would have been set up for the quicker game. As the folks behind you probably wouldn’t have wanted to wait 20 seconds for their drink to be dispensed. How would you like to see a 1983 news report featuring not just the game in action but talking Coke machines too?
Now even though the Catch A Coke wasn’t widely released that doesn’t mean you can’t pick one up yourself. That is because Bandai Electronics was hired to produce a LCD Game and watch in 1983 that was distributed to members of the Coca-Cola sales force!
I would love to hear in the comments if you were lucky enough to bump into one of the Catch A Coke “Arcade” Coca-Cola machines.
However, since I just mentioned the Coca-Cola talking vending machines, how would you like to see one that featured Max Headroom? All you need to do is click on the link here to Billy Seven‘s YouTube Page.
For fans of the legendary game series by Konami, Castlevania was a welcome addition to Netflix back in 2017. The animated series was rich in gore as well as the Gothic dressing that keeps us fans coming back to the games over and over again. Well, yesterday Netflix totally dropped the trailer for Castlevania season 2 and it looks to bring back everything we loved from the first season!
Perhaps the only complaint we fans of the first season of Castlevania had was that it was too short, in total it only had four episodes. Just as we were getting invested in the storyline it was over. With this Castlevania season 2 trailer it appears that we will catch up with our trio of heroes. I will assume that Richard Armitage will return to voice Trevor Belmont – perhaps this go around he might take his burden as a hero a little more seriously?
Last season we saw Trevor reluctantly teaming up with Sypha Belnades, who is voiced by Alejandra Reynoso of Winx Club fame. It will be interesting to see in this second season if her magical abilities will continue to grow, as well as if we will learn more about the order of the Seekers?
Of course we can’t forget about Alucard, the Son of Dracula, the “sleeping soldier” who has healed from his own mortal fight with his Father the previous year. At the end of last season he agreed to join Trevor and Sypha to combat the legions of Dracula (Graham McTavish). I can only assume that James Callis is once again voicing Adrian Tepes aka Alucard for Castlevania season 2.
Since I’ve not received a press release for this second season, I’m not positive if the series is still being penned by the legendary Warren Ellis. Although having said that, I would be very surprised indeed if that wasn’t the case. We will have eight episodes for this season and it debuts at the most proper time…October 26th!
Are you prepared to check out Netflix’s Castlevania season 2 trailer?
A word of warning, much like the original series, this trailer doesn’t shy away from the blood shed and gore.
Friends, as we have demonstrated just last week – here at the Retroist we love custom action figures. Especially when they are of high quality like the work of Dano Brown, gifting us all with the opportunity at glimpsing a world where we received Captain N: The Game Master or Dig Dug figures. The good news is that Dano Brown is receiving an exhibition of his work, featuring more than 40 hand-crafted figures at the iam8bit gallery in Los Angeles – this VERY evening!
The opening reception begins at 8 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m., in addition it is free to the public. Furthermore the exhibit of custom figures by Dano Brown will run until August 19th. If you would like a taste of what types of action figures the artist will be putting on display, we certainly have you covered. How would you have liked to seen an action figure produced for 1988’s classic Blaster Master?
What about the likes of Jean Reno as he appeared in 1994’s Leon: The Professional?
Keeping on the subject of films I was blown away by this Teen Wolf action figure. As you can see, this 1985 version of Scott Howard also comes equipped with headphones and his trademark sunglasses!
For those of you that like those chase figures, Dano Brown has crafted the Lloyd Christmas ‘charity ball edition’ figure from 1994’s Dumb and Dumber.
Rounding out our samples of action figures based on movies, check out Frank Dux from 1988’s Bloodsport!
Saving one of the best for last we have The Joy of Painting Bob Ross figure.
Now then, if you are interested in what inspired Dano Brown to start creating custom action figures – you can find out from the artist himself:
“I’ve always created art in one form or another as far back as I can remember. It’s something that has always made me happy. The only other hobby I’ve had for just as long is collecting. Since I was small I’ve always collected something. Baseball cards, lighters, records, cheap watches, etc, etc. The thing I’ve collected the longest and the most passionately has been vintage Nintendo games. Specifically NES era games. I’m currently only missing 3 games to complete the entire North American catalogue. As I got closer and closer to having them all, I found it was increasingly difficult and expensive to acquire games I needed so I started branching out. I bought Nintendo magazines, books, watches, pencils, folders, and just about anything else you could think of. A few years ago I came across some vintage style Nintendo action figures online that I had never seen even though I was sure I’d seen it all at that point. I immediately bought all of them. When they arrived I recognized some of the faces as old GI Joe’s I had as a kid. I realized that they were actually a bunch of old toys Frankensteined together to look like something new. I immediately became obsessed with trying to create my own. After a lot of trial and error and some helpful advice from the guy who sold me the figures that inspired me, I made my first figure. With the photoshop skills I had from previous projects I was able to make some pretty convincing packaging for my toy. I made it for myself but when I shared it on social media I had a shocking amount of interest in it. After that I was hooked. I’m just trying to create any and every action figure that I feel deserves to be made but never was.”