Thanks to what felt like endless press about virtual reality in the early 1990s and the film The Lawnmower Man, SEGA decided to throw their hat into the ring of VR. Obviously this had the possibility of making consumers look their way and maybe even tempt them to buy the Sega Genesis instead of the Super Nintendo. So what happened to this piece of technology?
VIDEO GAME STARS explains in their 90 second video. In the video, you’ll see former MTV host Alan Hunter on stage at a CES show to demonstrate this device. I wonder how people were more focused on his ridiculously loud shirt than the headset. Anyway..
If you’re wondering, I made the video. If you like it, you’re welcome. If you don’t, um, here’s Sonic going down an endless waterslide.
It was the 80’s and it was easy to love the Go-Go’s! Great peppy music, that was based on punk rock roots, performed by an all girl group. Did you have a favorite? I did. Gina Schock, the drummer! I’m a drummer and at that point, she was the only girl drummer I ever heard of and she was cute! Ok, still is.
Their album “Beauty and the Beat” came out in 1981 and it was full of radio and video friendly songs. “We Got the Beat” was definitely one of them.
My teacher that year, decided to have our class put on a talent show. Just our class and I can’t recall the reason behind it. So, we had to figure out something as it was graded. Non participation equaled a zero.
There were gymnastics and cheerleaders and some musical acts. My friends, Dave and Chris, decided to join me and do something. A lip sync act.
Ok, I turned to my sister Kathy, for help. She was gigging around town and had tons of top 40 sheet music. She had “We Got the Beat” and I figured it could work. Everyone knew the song and it would be funny if three dudes were lip syncing to an all girl group! She worked with me on some of the cues and singing and I could lead the guys. (Well, that was the plan.)
I think we rehearsed once and we were sworn to secrecy about the origin of our act, other than letting the teacher know. Then came the show date.
After a rousing round of tumbling and cheering, (I remember one of the girls tumbling to Journey music) a clarinet trio or something, it was our turn. Oh brother!
I had the school’s drum kit and was trying to keep it real. Someone had a boom box and a cassette of the band and we “sang.” Ok, it was pretty funny! Chris and Dave pranced around and we actually kind of sang along, while I tried keeping us together, trying not to die from trying not to laugh. Looking out at the audience, I could see a few hundred boys and girls screaming with glee at our antics! As silly and bad as it was, we got the best cheers and we got a good grade for the effort. And a lot of “cat calls” for the next few days.
In an age when Beatles Rock Band is old hat, It’s hard to remember a time when video game “product placements” or celebrity connections were a rarity, and kind of a big deal: Atari slapping Pele’s name on a new soccer cartridge, Mattel Electronics securing permission to emblazon every new sports video game with the name and logo of that sport’s professional league, or the one that started it all, a 1976 arcade, game awfully similar to Night Driver, called Datsun 280 ZZZAP!.
[Via] Hirudov gaming
And then there was Journey. Around 1983, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger radio hit than Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). That synth line, the one that leads the whole song off, was practically made to be turned into video game music. Journey inspired two video games – a fantastic Midway arcade game, and the quirky but enjoyable Journey Escape for the Atari 2600.
But what if another band had been in the right place at the right time to cash in on the video craze?
That’s the idea behind another project perhaps best described as “quirky but enjoyable” – a soundtrack for ELO: The Video Game that was never, in fact, made.
The free downloadable “ELO: The Video Game” album from online label Pterodactyl Squad re-imagines several of the band’s singles, and a few lesser-known tunes, as chiptunes – as they would sound as music for intros, level-up animations, and even boss battles.
It’s a little disconcerting seeing the ELO spaceship – a fixture of the band’s album covers since 1977 – spewing missiles at everything within sight on the artwork for this release, but it’s a fun (and fast) listen.
Now someone just needs to create a game to go with the music.
The 26th of the month is here once again, friends! Which of course means it is Atari Day. What better way to celebrate than by checking out Data Age’s Journey Escape?
Image courtesy of Atarmania
While in fact Journey Escape was marketed as a tie-in to the band’s 1981 album of the same name. The game actually uses an original theme with the exception of a rather nice chip version of Don’t Stop Believin’.
When Journey Escape for the 2600 was released back in 1982, it flew under my radar. However at the very least by the time I picked up the cartridge at a garage sale in 1983, I was quite familiar with the band’s arcade game. I’m not sure how in 1982 I managed to miss this rather excellent television commercial. Not only is it imaginative, capturing elements of the game itself. But moreover it has the bonus of Casey Kasem’s voice work as well!
What was the goal of Journey Escape you ask? It would seem you are traveling with Journey and they have just finished a performance that has netted them $50,000. It is up to the Player to escort all five members of Journey with their money to the safety of their escape vehicle – the Scarab naturally!
The obstacles in your path to accomplish this are many. For one thing you have to guide the band members past “Love-Crazed Groupies”. If a Player comes in contact with one of these they lose time and $300 bucks.
In Journey Escape a Player must also be wary of the paparazzi. The likes of the “Sneaky Photographers” will cost you $600 dollars upon contact. Why so much you might ask? To pay for the film negatives of course!
Also while playing the game you have to beware the “Shifty-Eyed Promoters”. These slightly gangster looking hucksters will cost you a whopping $2,000 dollars on contact.
Now the Player must also do their best to avoid the Stage Barriers. While at the very least it won’t cost you money if you collide with it – it does slow you down.
Having said that though, not everything in Journey Escape is designed to hinder your game. Case in point the “Loyal Roadie”, who looks in fact like a robot. If you manage to make contact you will be granted a temporary invulnerability.
Last but certainly not least is none other than the “Mighty Manager”. This jovial character allows a Player to run all the way to the Scarab without being stopped. In addition to adding $9,900 to the band’s purse.
I certainly hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Journey Escape for Atari Day. I hope you will also remember Atari Day is celebrated every 26th of the month.
Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.
To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!
When the pilot episode of NBC’s Saturday morning animated series Kidd Video debuted on September 8, 1984. I was hooked. The premise of a garage band getting sucked into an animated universe was right in my wheelhouse.
Kidd Video scratched that itch I was beginning to develop, which was obviously a desire for music. Music videos in fact. Please keep in mind that music wasn’t a big thing in my household when growing up. It wasn’t banned or anything like that – we just didn’t listen frequently.
Having said that, Kidd Video came out at the perfect time. While it would be a couple of years before I would get access to the likes of MTV. I had already been introduced to the music video by way of Nick Rocks!
Now as I just mentioned, I really dug Kidd Video. I apparently wasn’t the only child of the 80s who took to it either. As the show was the most popular new children’s show of 1984 as well as coming in third in the Nielsen ratings for all Saturday morning cartoons.
It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that the cast who played the members of the band. Also lent their voices to the series as well as the original songs they sang. Kidd Video was portrayed by Bryan Scott, Carla was played by Gabrielle Bennett. The band’s resident tech head, Whiz, was Robbie Rist. Yes, none other than Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch.
Last but not least was Ash, the keyboardist for the band, played by Steve Alterman.
Furthermore with the exception of Bennett, they could actually play their instruments. So this made Kidd Video something of a powerhouse for both DIC and Saban entertainment. Which is how the band members and even Haim Saban were interviewed on the program, 2 on the Town.
While the animated series was quite popular, they didn’t have much of a marketing impact in the USA. Although this wasn’t the case in Israel where the group in fact toured. Kidd Video spawned a record album, coloring books, a card game, and even candy bars and yogurt. So why not treat yourself and listen to a track from said album. The song from the intro of the cartoon – Video To My Radio!