Strong Fellowship – Day 16

Only two days left in the fellowship. I spent today looking over the rest of the Broderbund folders (Software Publishers Association records), the Don Daglow files (the Intellivision sales records weren’t as useful as I hoped) and SSI (sales records are fantastic, plus a couple magazines on history of computer games). I also backed up the photos I’d taken – looks like it’s somewhere in the range of 10,000 o_O That’s going to be an awful lot of work organizing them for research use…

I also started going through Softalk. There’s about two or three years of the magazine left, along with some issues of the IBM. Hopefully I can complete those tomorrow.

The other thing I looked at were a few handheld electronics. I never played any of the LED games from the period (grew up with Tiger handhelds, but those and Game & Watch are LCD technology, which is different). In some ways, the Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Galaga games are actually more sophisticated than the LCD games because there is a much wider range of motion and possibility. You can get pretty fluid action out of a 6×8 playfield for Invaders than what I remember the Tiger handhelds being. I haven’t really been able to record a lot of video since it’s hard to see the game in action (I was thinking of maybe doing Let’s Play, but I’m not sure I’m allowed to share gameplay footage – will have to ask about that tomorrow). One other thing to keep in mind is that the Pac-Man and Galaga games weren’t meant to be handheld – not only do they take four C batteries each (which means they weigh a ton) but they were modeled after arcade upright and cocktail cabinets. So it’s unusual for players today, who are used to holding.

Tomorrow: finish Softalk, play some more LED games, and give a list of magazines to pull for research tomorrow (90s gaming mags and Japanese mags). Then Friday I copy slides and go through what’s left. I wonder if I’ll be able to visit either RIT or the museum again on Saturday – my flight leaves at 5, so I’ve got the whole day.

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