NOTE: Right now, I only have the section of the article I was quoted in, eventually I'll add the rest of the article to complete it.

The Very Public
Game Market

by Omid Rahmat

The Rise and Fall of the Arcade

Curtis Hart works for the University of North Texas Libraries in the LAN/PC development and is in charge of the libraries' web server and public-access PCs for students to use for research. A very sober title, but Curtis also has a web site, one where he lights a torch for classic arcade games.

Curtis has this to say about his collection of arcade systems: "My goal is to keep and restore to their original status and playability for the sake of preserving them. These were influential times for me, and arcade games were no less an influence on me than kids getting me to smoke my first cigarette. My biggest hope is to show my son what it was like when I was a kid."

He remembers the time when arcade mania warranted Time magazine articles on the addictive craze that was depriving adults and children of 20 or 40 bucks a day, one quarter at a time.

"For me, it was exciting because it was so new. Growing up on Star Trek and Star Wars, computers were supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread and save our futures. And here they were, offering graphics and sounds solely for the purpose of entertaining me. I think the biggest reason for why it appealed to me so much was that it was still a fairly new technology, and the people who made and programmed them were constantly trying to break new ground with the limited resource they had. Now, telling that to a seven-year-old today, he couldn't care less. But show him a Lunar Lander and a Star Wars vector game side by side and see which one he runs for. This is my main reason for collecting and restoring original arcade games from the classic era - to preserve that magic. Today, you can't find a game that's either not a fighting game or racing game - variety is over and the current trend is to shock people with how much gore you can get on the screen.

"With the hindsight, I now have tremendous respect of what the game makers had to go through to get from concept to reality. Now, it doesn't matter if your coding is sloppy - they put the program on hard drives, not 4k ROMs, or whatever limited hardware they had. Back then, if you wanted a feature of a game to work, you wrote and rewrote the code until you could just barely squeeze it in. Now, just get a bigger hard drive."


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