The Video Games Gazette
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PLAY
PAC-MAN BITES THE DUST!
LOS ANGELES—The nation mourned yesterday when it learned that Pac-Man, the video game character and inspiration to millions, had passed away. Pac-Man was found dead in his Beverly Hills apartment on Friday night by his girlfriend, Ms. Pac-Man.
“He’s dead,” she sobbed to reporters, “but we must be strong. We must keep on moving forward, keep on smiling, keep on eating.”
Eating is what finally made Pac-Man pack it in. Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the “Coroner To The Stars,” revealed the cause of death to be “food poisoning…and jaundice.” Privately, Noguchi said, “Pac-Man dug his grave with a fork and spoon. Dots, lines, fruit, energy pellets, ghosts—he was insatiable. He finally bit off more than he could chew. And I ask you, is it worth killing yourself for a few lousy points?”
Friends of Pac-Man feel there are other reasons behind the tragedy. Next door neighbor, Frogger, speculated; “Pac achieved fame and fortune too fast, too young. He just couldn’t handle it. He was so depressed and jealous when Zaxxon came out. And Pac could never understand why his fans would abandon him for something as ridiculous as Donkey Kong.”
Marital problems also plagued Pac and Ms. Man in the final days. The couple was constantly fighting, especially around mealtime. However, in the end, Ms. Pac-Man was at his bedside as he lay dying. “His last words,” she told the Gazette, were, “Wocka…wocka…wocka…I’m full.”
Funeral services were held for Pac-Man early this morning. It was a touching ceremony, marred only by the appearance of four shadowy demonstrators who were escorted away by security police.
PARKER RELEASES GAMES FOR ATARI
CHICAGO—There is more to life than Monopoly apparently, so Parker Brothers is entering the video game software business. Banking on names America is familiar with, among the first Atari compatible games will be The Empire Strikes Back, Frogger, Spiderman, and James Bond 007. Also new from Parker will be Amidar, Super Cobra, Tutankham, Sky Skipper and Reactor. Intellivision owners, don’t despair! Within the year, these companies will be making games for you—Parker, Imagic, Activision, and Coleco.
ANYONE WHO IS NOT HERE, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND
SAN DIEGO—Who says video games keep kids away from school? An arcade owner here is donating $100 a week for students who have good attendance records. David Kuttnauer, 17, and Dolvina Adkins, 15, are shown here breaking out the stash of tokens they earned for perfect attendance at San Diego High School.
“I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU PAC-MAN AND WIFE.”
DES MOINES—Since Pac-Man is the first video game that women really went bonkers for, it stands to reason that playing Pac-Man is a great way to meet girls. That’s the way it was for Kyle Riley, who met his future wife Jo Linda Richardson at this Pac-Man machine. Jo Linda and Kyle plan to have their wedding ceremony in the Des Moines arcade where they first met, and their honeymoon bridal suite is to be equipped with a Pac-Man game.
QUICK! CASH IN YOUR QUARTERS!
ILLINOIS—Well, at least we have authoritative proof of the hazards of video gaming. It said so right in the Weekly World News. Other actual News headlines you might want to check out…
- Town Wants To Burn Corpses For Energy.
- Black Magic Master Turns Corpses into Zombie Slaves That Walk Among The Living.
- Pastor Returns From The Dead.
- Evil Genius Starves His Own Mother.
- Bill Collectors Come Calling With Guns Blazing.
- My Unborn Baby Will Be A Witch.
- Pesky Cat Gets Microwave Death.
- Descendant Of Vicious Count Says He Wasn’t A Bloodsucker.
- Dad Invites Daughter’s Murderer To Her Burial.
- Did Granny Make A Fur Piece Out Of My Precious Cat?
ARCADIA “SUPERCHARGES” ATARI
SANTA CLARA—People are buzzing about the new “Supercharger” you plug into your Atari VCS to increase its memory from 128 bytes to 6,272 bytes. The Supercharger ($70) plugs in where your games usually go. A cable goes from the Supercharger to the earphone jack on your standard cassette tape player. The games, supplied by Arcadia for just $14, are on recording cassettes. If we do say so, it’s pretty nifty and so are Arcadia’s first four games—Fireball, Phaser Patrol, Suicide Mission, and…Communist Mutants From Space.
FALKLANDS UNDER VIDEO ATTACK!
MANCHESTER, ENG—When the Falkland Island crisis began, anxious Englishmen could barely wait for their warships to get to Argentina. In the meantime, one clever company, Prestel, invented a computer game to keep the British occupied.
Obliterate pitted the British Royal Navy against the Argentine fleet. As the real war progressed, the game program was changed accordingly and enthusiastic Brits tried to whip Argentina on their TV sets. Obliterate was very popular, but it was discontinued when British officials complained that it encouraged folks to see war as “nothing more than a game.”
73 MILLION POINTS!
NEW JERSEY—No, not in one game. But for fifty hours straight, Michael Spinak, 16, and Jimmy Hallahan, 16, labored over a hot Missile Command in their unusual effort to raise $60,000 for a 10-year-old neighbor’s kidney operation. That’s Jimmy’s fan Lori Santangello, 14, who helps defend cities by sticking out her tongue.
FAIR IS FAIR
KNOXVILLE—Odyssey, located in Tennessee, has been named Official Video Game of the 1982 World’s Fair, which is also taking place in Tennessee. Not to be outdone, Atari, located in California, has been named Official Video Game of the 1984 World’s Fair, to be located in California.
JAPANESE PREFER TO PLAY “PACHINKO”
TOKYO—Although Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and many other hit video games originated in Japan, the Japanese are obsessed with a different game—Pachinko. In pachinko parlors, you drop a 100-yen coin (43 cents) into a slot and 25 metal balls go spinning across a vertical board. Some of them will disappear and some will win you bonus balls, which can be exchanged for ajar of orange marmalade, a canned ham, a new pair of underwear, or other nifty prizes.
I’ll take a free game, thanks.
LONG RANGE PLANS
Columbia Pictures has announced that Atari will be marketing home video game cartridges on the forthcoming epic adventure film, “Krull.” The movie and games are scheduled for release in the summer of 1983.
WHY ARE THESE GUYS SMILING?
SANTA CLARA—You’d be smiling too if the revenues from your new company had jumped from $6 million to $66 million in one year. These are Activision’s senior designers—Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller, David Crane, Steve Cartwright and Bob Whitehead.
PSSST! WANNA FREE PAIR OF BELL-BOTTOMS?
CHICAGO—Is there a suspicious-looking person hanging around your arcade trying to get you to try new things? Be careful—it might be Julie Reed, 27, the U.S. Navy’s top recruiter. Last year she hung around arcades and got 83 video jocks to enlist. Julie told the Chicago Tribune that she liked recruits from the arcades. “They’re not hanging around the street corners; they’re challenging themselves with these games.”
ALSO AT CES…
As if folks didn’t have enough to look at, there were plenty of Playboy Bunnies and Penthouse Pets at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show.
GETTING TOUGH WITH RIPOFFS
NEW YORK—Recent court decisions are helping the video game manufacturers protect their products. In one, a three-judge panel ruled that designers of games have the same copyright protection as book authors and music composers. In another, enhancement kits, or “speedups” that alter a game’s program were cited for copyright infringement.
In effect, video game designs are now classed as “works of art” like books or movies. Copying or tampering with them is against the law.
So the next time your mom tells you to stop playing video games, tell her you’re studying great works of art!
DODGERS TO HIT HYPERSPACE
PASADENA—Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Ron Cey plots strategy for next season as he observes a hopeful champion (note Atari sweatbands) in the International Atari Asteroids Tournament. Over 2,000 people attended the competition.