GameRoom Magazine - International Video Game Hall of Fame

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GameRoom Magazine - International Video Game Hall of Fame

GameRoom

Your Guide to the Ultimate Home Game Room

August 2010 Volume 22, Number 8 www.gameroommag.com

$6.95

The Video Game Hall of Fame

High Score Heaven

Playfield Resurrection

The Art of recreating art


Chaos

Central

It’s nice to be recognized for your

achievements, to have others

acknowledge your hard work and

perseverance.

It’s nice to be recognized for your achievements, to have others acknowledge your hard

work and perseverance. No matter what the hobby, everyone enjoys a pat on the back and a

hearty “well done.”

Most activities have a hall of fame—Pro Football has a hall of fame in Canton, Ohio.

Rock and Roll has a hall of fame here in Cleveland. Even Trapshooting has a hall of fame in

Vandalia, Ohio (wow, Ohio sure seems to like hall of fames!)

Anyway, as a lifelong fan of video gaming, I’m happy to know that there is now a hall of

fame for that activity, as well. Ottumwa, Iowa (yes, not Ohio) is now the proud home of the

International Video Game Hall of Fame (IVGHOF for short…just don’t try to pronounce it!)

It celebrates both video gaming’s achievements and history: high scores and gaming firsts.

This issue celebrates the new hall of fame as it enshrines its first inductees. Congratulations!

Kevin Steele, Editor

Pinball Innovation: is that it?

Was William’s glorious failure in

Pinball 2000 the last major leap

forward in pinball technology?

Is the game doomed to stagnate

forever as a mechanical game in a

digital age? Check out Rob Craig’s

thoughts on the Un-Modern Pin

starting on page 32!

You spilled your guts… and I thank you! Yes, I received some Coin-Op Confessions this month, and the

column returns with this issue. Of course, to keep it going I’ll need more, and that’s where you come

in—submit your game room or confess your coin-op habit and see your face in the pages of GameRoom

Magazine! Send your high-resolution photos and story to info@gameroommag.com. You’ll earn a

GameRoom T-shirt, your story immortalized in print, and my eternal gratitude!

August

2010

Volume 22, Number 8

GameRoom News 7

The month’s game room happenings

The Big Bang 13

The Video Game Hall of Fame

Resurrection 20

The Art of recreating art

Lost Arcade Classics 23

Escape from the Planet of the Robot

Monsters (Atari, 1989)

Gamerooms by Design 26

Building a Home Bar, Part 5

The Wayback Machine 30

The Taco Bell Experiment

Tales of the Silverball 32

The Un-Modern Pin

GameRoom of the Month 36

William Simpson

Coin-Op Confessions 40

Aaron Ketza

The Last Word 44

Unquiet Solitude

Advertiser Index on page 41


The

Big

Bang

by Roger Jones

Last year, the city of Ottumwa reinvented itself. Up until

that time, the southeast Iowa city was notable for two

things: being the hometown of Radar O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff

) of M*A*S*H fame and the birthplace of Tom Arnold

(who graduated from Indian Hills Community College).

Few knew of Ottumwa’s extremely momentous legacy as

the birthplace of competitive video gaming. So on April 10,

2009, the city reminded the world that it is the Video Game

Capital of the World and announced plans to create a Video

Game Hall of Fame and Museum. How did this enterprise

wind up in the modest hamlet of Ottumwa instead of New

York, Los Angeles, or Tokyo? As a rather extraordinary gentleman

by the name of Walter Day said, “I think it’s because

people love to see David take on Goliath. Small, unassuming

Ottumwa has only 27,000 people, but the population is on

fire to turn the city into the world’s first video-game-based

amusement attraction, essentially becoming the Disneyland

of Video Games. It will have museums, statues, events, and,

hopefully, a resurrected Twin Galaxies Arcade, the official

scorekeeper and contest organizer for the whole world.”

GameRoom August, 2010

13


Golden Age of Video Games

It all started in 1982, when Walter, then

owner of the Twin Galaxies Video Game

Parlor in Ottumwa, noted that one of his patrons,

Tony Mattan, had achieved a particularly

high score on Defender. Suspecting that

this might be the highest score ever achieved

on that game, Walter contacted the manufacturer,

Williams Electronics in Chicago,

and asked if a world record had been set.

Company officials had no idea—because no

one was keeping records. Walter immediately

recognized a great opportunity. Video gaming

was at the height of its popularity. Players

in video game arcades all over the world obsessed

over becoming the high score holder

of their favorite games, and yet nobody was

keeping track.

Within days, Walter Day had created

the Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard,

becoming the official keeper of high scores

for the global video gaming industry. Walter

sometimes received up to 50 calls a day from

players claiming to have achieved top scores

in various games.

Ottumwa became known as the “Dodge

City of Video Gaming,” where players from

all over the world came to face off against

one another and strive to set new world

records. Then-mayor Jerry Parker proclaimed

Ottumwa the “Video Game Capital of the

World” and shortly thereafter, in 1983, Governor

Branstad gave the state’s official blessing.

Media such as Life Magazine and ABC

TV readily jumped in to cover the news, too.

Ottumwa Claims Its Due

So in April of last year, a very enthusiastic

group of individuals were merely reminding

the world of a forgotten legacy. With

the support of notable gamers such as Billy

Mitchell and Steve Sanders, Mayor Jerry

Parker (who reminded attendees that he outdueled

Governor Branstad in a game of Pac-

Man back in the day), and, of course, Walter

Day, Ottumwa officially began its quest. To

seal the deal, Mitchell, the official “Video

Gamer of the 20th Century,” autographed

and donated the Donkey Kong machine on

which he had set the world’s record.

Then the grunt work got underway: committees

labored to develop a website (www.

ivghof.com), plan events, fashion a Video

Game Hall of Fame similar to the Baseball

Hall of Fame in New York, and appoint a

curator to accept donations of “artifacts” like

old consoles and home gaming machines

such as the Intellivision.

The next big step was the official launch

party for the International Video Game

14 GameRoom August, 2010

The 4500 Game Campaign

The IVGHOF plans on becoming

the “Smithsonian Institute” of

video game history, responsible for

preserving one copy of every game

ever produced—a number considered

to be around 100,000 different

games, from the mass-produced

console titles of the modern era to

the rare prototypes of the 1970s and

1980s. Of this number, about 4500

were released as coin-operated arcade

games. So, using this number as a focal

point, the 4500 Game Campaign

was launched at the NW Pinball and

Game Room Show to inspire gamers

to donate their arcade games to the

IVGHOF’s fast-growing archival

collection.

The 4500 Game Campaign was inspired

by the support of members of

the Seattle Metro Arcade Collectors

(SMAC, a grassroots hobbyist organization

that works to preserve the

arcade legacy) and the NW Pinball

and Gameroom Show—an annual event that celebrates the

history of classic and arcade gaming. On June 12, 2010,

in a special ceremony at the Seattle Center, members

of SMAC and the NW Pinball Show donated to

the IVGHOF the Asteroids machine which had

been used by John McAllister to break Scott Safran’s

28-year-old world record.

Bill Jones, of Chicago, quickly followed suit when he

donated his Stargate and Defender machines to the campaign—

games which he had used to achieve world records.

To contribute games to the 4500 game Campaign, contact:

Josh Bolinger, IVGHOF Archives Curator

c/o International Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum

217 East Main Street P.O. Box 308 Ottumwa, IA 52501

donations@ivghof.com


A Tale of Two Mayors

Ottumwa has been lucky; it has been blessed with dynamic

forward-looking Mayors. On November 30, 1982, Mayor

Jerry Parker proclaimed Ottumwa the “Video Game Capital of

the World.” While most city fathers were legislating against video

games, Mayor Parker gained national prominence by bucking the

trend and embracing video games. This was a bold move and it

earned headlines for Ottumwa around the world. Mayor Parker

would go on to issue Mayoral proclamations that challenged Japan

and Italy to video game championships—in Ottumwa!

Today, Parker’s bold legacy is continued by the current Ottumwa

Mayor, Dale Uehling, who helps lead the initiative to turn

Ottumwa into an amusement attraction for the worldwide video

game industry, and who champions the creation of the IVGHOF

in Ottumwa. Mayor Uehling says: “Ottumwa will prove that it is

the Cooperstown of the video game world and set an example of

‘thinking big’ for all small towns to follow.”

LIFE Magazine Reunion

The City of Ottumwa, in order to

celebrate its unique heritage as the

Video Game Capital of the World,” started

a tradition in 2009 of presenting awards of

appreciation to individuals or organizations

who contributed to the city’s rich

heritage as the video game capital.

In 2009, the “Video Game Capital

Award” was created and presented to

four recipients. They were Tony Mattan,

who achieved Twin Galaxies first

world record score, former

Mayor Jerry Parker—

who proclaimed

Ottumwa

the

Video

Game

Capital of the World, and Lewis

Wilson and John Sorflaten—the two

men who filmed the original documentary

footage that was used in Chasing Ghosts and the

King of Kong.

On Friday night, August 6th, the 2010 Video Game

Capital Award is being presented to those involved

with the legendary 1982 LIFE Magazine video game

photo. Among the recipients are Twin Galaxies, the

five cheerleaders and the 16 players appearing in the photo. All the

cheerleaders and half of the players are expected to receive their

awards in person. The Award intended for Twin Galaxies will be

accepted by Pete Bouvier, CEO of Twin Galaxies.

Activities during the proceedings will include a panel discussion

featuring the photo’s alumni, a new documentary on the LIFE

photo-shoot, a re-enactment of the original photo and then the

Awards Ceremonies. The function will take place in the Bridge

View Center Auditorium.

GameRoom August, 2010

15


Hall of Fame on August 13, 2009. On that

day Ottumwa’s claim gained a considerable

boost, as over 3,000 excited fans showed up

for live game competitions and a chance to

read the “history walls,” which documented

the amazing things that happened in the

early ’80s.

Many notable figures in the international

video gaming world attended the event,

including Billy Mitchell, Tony Temple from

Great Britain, and Triforce, a topflight gamer

who had his name legally changed to reflect

his current calling in life. Topping off the

launch were clips from the recent documentary

on the industry, FRAG (shown at the

Cannes Film Festival), and a montage of

historical footage from 1983. Media outlets

from Boston to India covered the event.

Let the Games Continue!

What’s next? The first Big Bang Video Game

Festival at the Bridge View Center from

August 5-8. The event, supported by many

donations, will feature a 24-hour-a-day

plethora of game playing and competition,

bands performing in an outdoor beer garden,

inductions into the Hall of Fame, displays

of artifacts that have been donated to the

Hall of Fame Museum, and a chance to meet

some of the most famous video gamers in the

world.

“Gaming, it’s so huge, there’s so much

history, and it’s only going to continue to

develop,” sums up Terry McNitt of the Ottumwa

Chamber of Commerce. “Nobody’s

ever taken this sort of thing and run with it.”

Becoming the Video Game Capital of the

World is a formidable yet exciting undertaking

for the people of Ottumwa and Wapello

County. For a city recently plagued by unemployment,

Ottumwa now looks forward to a

growing tourism industry and the chance to

reacquire some long-deserved respect. GR

Article reprinted with permission of the Iowa Source

16 GameRoom August, 2010

The Big Bang is Ottumwa’s Annual Video Game Festival, co-created by the Citizens

of Ottumwa and the International Video Game Hall of Fame. TBB is a four-day

event held concurrently with the Grand Induction Ceremonies for the International

Video Game Hall of Fame & Museum (IVGHOF). As the birthplace of organized,

competitive video game playing, the title, “The Big Bang,” is derived from the fact that

“it all started in Ottumwa.” In the same way that the Universe began with a “Big Bang,”

organized video game playing started with a similar explosion in Ottumwa, Iowa nearly

thirty years ago.

Scheduled for August 5-8, 2010, the festival will feature lots of contests with more

than $13,000 in cash prizes, three straight nights of rock concerts (ten bands), a dealer

showroom, panel discussions, guest celebrities, a Cosplay costume contest, historic museum

displays and movies. Special events include a reunion of the 1982 superstars who

appeared in the legendary LIFE magazine photo, a 30th Anniversary party for Pac-Man

and a re-enactment of the 1983 World Championship filmed by That’s Incredible. Plus,

many not-to-be-missed events, such as Ottumwa ceremoniously raising its new flag as the

Video Game Capital of the World” and renaming Central Park to “Pac-Man Park.” Plus

lots of further activities to be announced by the IVGHOF.

The City of Ottumwa would like to invite you to come and celebrate Ottumwa’s

unique video game legacy. The Big Bang will be held at: Bridge View Center, 102 Church

Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501 (641) 684-7000 www.bridgeviewcenter.com

Pac-Man’s 30 th Birthday Celebrations at the Big Bang

The Big Bang is throwing a party for Pac-Man

that includes re-naming the city’s Central Park

to “Pac-Man Park.” And, as a build-up to the event,

the IVGHOF conducted a worldwide campaign to

gather birthday cards for Pac-Man, using the special

NAMCO card created for the celebration. But, the

best part happens on Friday afternoon, August 6th ,

when the official Pac-Man Birthday Party is conducted

in the Bridge View Center auditorium and

Pac-Man is joined for a public panel discussion by 7

or 8 of the greatest Pac-Man players in history, who

will discuss how Pac-Man affected the culture of our

times. And, don’t forget that Pac-Man and Mr. Masaya

Nakamura are being inducted into the IVGHOF

on Saturday night. And, to preserve it all for history,

noted British filmmaker Anthony Caulfield will be

on hand to create a documentary film on Pac-Man

that captures all the landmark activities in Ottumwa.


The Birth of the

Video Game Hall

of Fame

The International Video Game Hall of

Fame has been created to honor the

luminaries of the video game age and to preserve

the artifacts and memorabilia generated

by this dynamic industry. The IVGHOF is

registered with the IRS as a 501C(3) notfor-profit,

tax-exempt organization that can

accept donations and issue tax receipts.

The IVGHOF is managed by a Board of

Directors which serves with no compensation

and is composed of members of the

Ottumwa business community. The Board

members are Dale Uehling (Mayor), Joe

Helfenberg (City Administrator), Terry

McNitt (Executive Director of the Ottumwa

Chamber of Commerce), Linda Spears

(CEO of Meridian Credit Union), Josh

Gettings (Ottumwa merchant), Liz Bolinger

(Ottumwa merchant), Josh Bolinger (Ottumwa

merchant), Roger Jones (retired

lawyer), Greg Kenning (Wapello County Supervisor),

Dan Canny (Advertising Director

for the Ottumwa Courier) and Mary Gaskill

(Iowa State House of Representatives).

The IVGHOF will have three primary

components: (a) Hall of Fame displays focusing

on important individuals in the evolution

of the video game age. (b) A Museum of

History that will have extensive exhibits on

display that focus on important games, important

events, technological breakthroughs

and important milestones in the history of

the electronic gaming industry. (c) Archival

Preservation,

which features

a comprehensive

archives

that maintains

every conceivable

piece

of memorabilia

that is

produced by

the worldwide

gaming industry,

with these

artifacts being

arranged into

many different

historical collections that will be periodically

put on display via a program of rotating

exhibits.

The IVGHOF can trace its inspiration

back to September, 1982, when the management

of the landmark Twin Galaxies Arcade

took steps to create an official Video Game

Hall of Fame in Ottumwa. At that time,

numerous game manufacturers donated

game manuals to help inaugurate this project.

Among these supporters were Atari, Midway,

Williams Electronics, Nichibitsu, Exidy,

Stern and Nintendo. By the fall of 1983, the

efforts of Twin Galaxies were noted by the

media, as shown in the Cashbox Magazine

article from October 8, 1983.

Today, the re-birth of this project has been

inspired through the efforts of Ottumwa citizens

like Josh Gettings, Terry McNitt, and

Chris Hoeksema, who were among the first

to petition that Ottumwa re-claim its legacy

as the “Video Game Capital” and establish

the official International Video Game Hall of

Fame in Ottumwa.

GameRoom August, 2010

17


The IVGHOF Class of 2010

When the IVGHOF was first conceived, it immediately approved

a list of inductees that included five gamers, four legendary

industry pioneers and one video game. Realizing that there

were many, many more individuals worthy of enshrinement into

the IVGHOF, the IVGHOF Board of Directors decided to make

the Class of 2010 a large one and decided to hold many ceremonies

around North America to induct further honorees into the Hall of

Fame for the Class of 2010.

However, only one such ceremony was held—at the 2009 NW

Pinball and Game Room Show—before the IVGHOF changed its

plans and decided that all future inductees would be selected by a

Panel of Industry Experts who would approve the selection criteria,

create a ballot of nominees for each forthcoming year, and then

select the Inductees from among the list of nominees. Plus, as the

IVGHOF gained more knowledge from these experiences, the vision

for the IVGHOF evolved and it was decided that there would

be only one ceremony per year that would induct a smaller number

of honorees designated by this objective panel of industry experts.

So, between the IVGHOF Board’s initial selection of 10 luminaries

in May, 2009 and the 19 individuals selected in Seattle, the Class

of 2010 stood at 29 inductees.

Recognizing that the worldwide gaming industry has greatly

benefited from the support of the worldwide community of com-

2010 Hall of Fame Inductees

• Eric Akeson, Turbo Pac-Man Champion

• Kevin Bachus, Xbox Design Team

• Ralph Baer, Historic Industry Pioneer

• Rob Barrett, Tutankham Champion

• Otto Berkes, Xbox Design Team

• Seamus Blackley, Xbox Design Team

• Nolan Bushnell, Historic Industry Pioneer

• Brian Cady, Tempest Champion

• Paul Dean, Spy Hunter Champion

• Ben Falls, Moon Patrol Champion

• Dennis “Thresh” Fong,

Legendary PC Gaming Champion

• Ben Gold, Legendary Arcade Champion

• Ike Hall, Past Donkey Kong World Champion

• Ted Hase, X-Box Design Team

• Ken House, Dig Dug Champion

• Andrew Laidlaw, Galaga Champion

• Chris Mansfield, Kicker Champion

• John McAllister, Asteroids Deluxe Champion

• Billy Mitchell, Legendary Arcade Champion

• Shigeru Miyamoto, Creator of Donkey Kong

• Masaya Nakamura, NAMCO Founder

• Steve Ritchie, Legendary Game Designer

18 GameRoom August, 2010

petitive gamers, it was later decided to dedicate this first class to

the “History of Competitive Gaming,” and to focus on the contributions

made to the industry by the original gamer—the “arcade

champion.” In accordance with these plans to honor the “History of

Competitive Gaming,” a majority of the inductees honored in this

first Class are arcade or PC gaming champions.

Herein is the list of current Inductees. We hope you will join

us in honoring them on Saturday, August 7th, 2010 at the Bridge

View Center in Ottumwa, Iowa. The current class—the Class of

2010—is composed of the arcade champions from the NW Pinball

and Game Room Show as well as ten other luminaries who were

approved by the IVGHOF Board of Directors. The Class of 2010

includes four iconic industry visionaries, five game designers, nineteen

competitive gamers and one video game.

And, if you think that someone is missing—someone who

absolutely deserves to be inducted into the IVGHOF, but is not on

this list, you are right! This process is just beginning and we plan on

bestowing the highest honors on every individual or organization

who has contributed to the success or enrichment of the worldwide

video game industry. Unfortunately, everybody can’t be inducted in

a single year, so we ask for everyone’s patience as we move through

this first year..

• Perry Rodgers, Mario Brothers Champion

• Todd Rogers, Legendary Arcade Champion

• Scott Safran, Asteroids Champion

• Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel,

Legendary PC Gaming Champion

• Steve Wiebe, Donkey Kong, Jr. Champion

• Phil Younger, Berzerk Champion

• Pac-Man, Classic Arcade Game

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