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8-bit apocalypse : the untold story of Atari's Missile command / Alex Rubens ; with a foreword by Jeff Gerstmann

By: Rubens, Alex.
Contributor(s): Gerstmann, Jeff, 1975- [writer of foreword.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York, New York : Abrams Press, 2019Description: 254 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : colour illustrations ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781419738937; 1419738933.Other title: Eight-bit apocalypse : the untold story of Atari's Missile command.Subject(s): Atari, Inc. -- History | Video games industry -- History | Arcades -- HistoryDDC classification: 338.4/77948 Summary: Before Call of Duty, before World of Warcraft, before even Super Mario Bros., the video game industry exploded in the late 1970s with the advent of the video arcade. Leading the charge was Atari Inc., the creator of the iconic game Missile Command. The first game to double as a commentary on culture, Missile Command put the players' fingers on "the button," making them responsible for the fate of civilization in a no-win scenario, all for the price of a quarter. The game was a marvel of modern culture, helping usher in both the age of the video game and the gamer lifestyle. Taking readers back to the days of TaB cola, dot matrix printers, and digging through the couch for just one more quarter, 8-Bit Apocalypse combines Rubens knowledge of the tech industry and experience as a gaming journalist to conjure the wild silicon frontier of the 8-bit '80s.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
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Non-Fiction (NEST) 794.8 RUB Available
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
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Non-Fiction (NEST) 794.8 RUB Coming Soon

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The untold story of Atari's Missile Command With the advent of the arcade, Atari Inc. and its iconic game, Missile Command, were at the forefront of the industry's explosion, helping usher in both the age of the video game and the gamer lifestyle. In 8-Bit Apocalypse, tech insider Alex Rubens delves into electronic history to tell of an era when arcade games were designed, written, and coded by individual designers. He interviews major figures including Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Missile Command creator David Theurer, who suffered from frequent nightmares of nuclear holocaust as he worked on the game. The first in-depth, personal history of the era, 8-Bit Apocalypse combines Rubens's tech industry knowledge and experience as a gaming journalist to conjure the wild silicon frontier of the '80s.

"Originally published in hardcover by The Overbook Press in 2018"--Title page verso

Before Call of Duty, before World of Warcraft, before even Super Mario Bros., the video game industry exploded in the late 1970s with the advent of the video arcade. Leading the charge was Atari Inc., the creator of the iconic game Missile Command. The first game to double as a commentary on culture, Missile Command put the players' fingers on "the button," making them responsible for the fate of civilization in a no-win scenario, all for the price of a quarter. The game was a marvel of modern culture, helping usher in both the age of the video game and the gamer lifestyle. Taking readers back to the days of TaB cola, dot matrix printers, and digging through the couch for just one more quarter, 8-Bit Apocalypse combines Rubens knowledge of the tech industry and experience as a gaming journalist to conjure the wild silicon frontier of the 8-bit '80s.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Rubens, a content manager at YouTube working in the realm of eSports, writes a journey into the early days of gaming. Before development teams and social media, there were individuals crafting arcade machines, often as individual efforts. The author tells this story through a series of interviews with programmers, managers, and other Atari employees, based on their days creating one of the first iconic video games in the 1970s. The solid, journalistic writing will attract readers, even if some of the profiles are more intriguing than others. Notably, Rubens shares how being dedicated to such a project impacted each creator, especially in terms of their mental, social, and physical health as passion devolved into obsession. VERDICT A strong debut of gaming history from an author who has an obvious love for the subject. Besides drawing in gamers, this work will also appeal to those interested in the history of technology.-Lewis Parsons, Sawyer Free Lib., Gloucester, MA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Rubens, a strategic partner manager at Google, delves deeply into the story of Atari's 1980 arcade game Missile Command, the origins of which have long been shrouded in mystery despite the games seminal role in a fledgling industry. By convincing the game's elusive creator, David Theurer, to tell his story, Rubens illuminates the company's founding and the inception of arcades as a part of American popular culture. The author outlines Atari's early history-the creation of Pong in 1972, its early leadership struggles, and its 1981 height of $2 billion in profits before the 1982 industry crash that ruined the company-as well as the cutthroat world of modern-day Missile Command tournaments. At the center is Theurer's obsessive development of the game into a vehicle for his own political concerns: the final product climaxed in a no-win-nuclear-war scenario. With this stark antiwar message, Rubens shows, Theurer became the first game developer to realize the potential for games to affect players emotionally, an accomplishment that stands as Missile Command's true legacy. Though repetitive in conveying Theurer's rationale, Rubens's history is an excellent analysis of Cold War-era fears and the escapism provided by video games. It will be fascinating to anyone interested in the cultural influence of entertainment. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.