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Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System

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The Product:
ISBN: 026201257X
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780262012577
Author(s): Nick Montfort, Ian Bogost
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press (MA)
Dimensions: 157mm x 20mm x 231mm
Pages: 180
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Product Description:
The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that 'Atari' became the generic term for a video game console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms--the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics.
Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space l...


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