Electronic Games Animated Magazine Cover

As soon as Jim created this assignment and seeded it with his terrific Famous Monsters of Filmland animated magazine cover, I knew I had to do it.

This is cover of the first issue of the fan magazine Electronic Games published in the Winter of 1981. Nightrob has a great set of EG cover art in his Flickr stream if you’d like to see some quintessential 80’s game art.  The moving 8-bit creatures are from the famous game Space Invaders, sadly I was never particularly good at that game but I love the look of the graphics.   Take a listen to some sounds from the original play – I love the old-school oscillators and beeps.

In the era of stand-up arcades, I played occasionally at a roller skating rink called Great American Skate (and yes I did skate too, badly). My favorite stand-up by far was Tempest which had a dial instead of a joystick to rotate a shooter about a variety of almost crystalline spaces. Various geometric objects would attempt to climb toward the exterior of the crystal and you were to shoot them back.

But I spent much more time playing games on the memorable consoles built by Atari, Colecovision, and Intellivision. I played a lot of 8-bit Donkey Kong, Pit Fall, and Pac-Man. But I didn’t really go over the gaming deep end until I bought my Commodore 64, a system that almost single-handedly destroyed the still young video game industry. The C64 used rewritable floppy disks, instead of ROM based cartridges which made it very easy to copy and trade games. I made an homage animated GIF for my favorite game on that platform – Karateka.

Probably for the better, I peaked as a gamer at around 13-14 years-old. I’m a total novice with games today and mastering a controller that requires every single one of my digits to perform independently isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Joystick #4life.


5 responses to “Electronic Games Animated Magazine Cover”

  1. noiseprofessor Avatar

    I love the look in that kid’s eyes. This is exactly how I looked after staying up all night to flip Asteroids on the 2600, or besting all comers at Archon or Impossible Mission on the C64.

  2. mbransons Avatar

    I’m really considering getting a C64, dumbest thing I ever sold.

  3. scottlo Avatar

    This nails it so completely. Great work, Michael. I love how the kid is getting radiated by some sort of beam from the attack pod released by the invaders.

    This is something I’d love to see on the shelves of the Animated GIF Emporium when it eventually opens.

    Funny, I was just trying to describe the Tempest console game to a younger person the other day. I couldn’t for the life of me recall the name fo the came. The most salient memory I have of the game is the rotating controller knob. There seemed to be a soft audible click with each movement of the wheel.

    Thanks for sparking some memories.

  4. Michael Branson Smith Avatar

    Scottlo, I’m not to sure Emporium is the right thing for me these days with that 500KB cap. I have a few two framers I could spare for a few Linden dollars.

  5. phb256 Avatar

    I’m about as far from being a gamer as a man can be, but Tempest was the one game I would play way back when. I forgot all about it. Now I find there’s an online version. So much for my productivity…