by Steve Bloom

Video games aren’t a fad. What do you think about that?

I think it’s true and I’ll tell you why.

Video games earned more than all of pro baseball, basketball and football last year, ran neck and neck with records and films and even collected more cash than every one of Las Vegas’ casinos. Dollars, however, don’t always make sense.

Video games is a new form of entertainment and that’s why all of its competitors are shuddering; they’d like to believe that it will go away but have that terrible suspicion that in one form or another these delightfully hedonistic playthings will be with us for quite awhile.

Space Invaders was a fad and so is Pac-Man. If you follow my drift, then so was “Bette Davis Eyes” or any of the countless Number One singles that have passed in and out of our lives forever. Add to that list popular films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark (which, by the way, are being converted to video games)—fads for sure. The art and craft of making films, records or video games is one in the same. Only the byproduct becomes a fad.

Enter Video Games magazine, stage-right. I think it’s safe to say that as of yet, no print media has adequately narrowed in on the needs and interests of the rapidly-growing video game-playing public. There are reviews to be read, issues to be dealt with and behind-the-scenes personalities to be introduced-not to mention ten years of games history to be chronicled. We plan to do all of this and more in an intelligent, incisive manner.

In this, our premiere issue, we have assembled a most competent cast to carry out this task. We began by asking artist Stanislaw Fernandes to render Pac-Man—the industry’s hands-down “Man of the Year”—for our cover. Not only did Stanislaw come through with a gold brick-gobbling munchkid, but added his unique touch to two other articles (see “Play Ball!” and DR. VIDEO). Since Pac-Man is so much on our minds these days, we had illustrator Denis Orloff provide his interpretations of the yellow fellow (see BLIPS and “Last Word on Pac-Man”) as well.

For our first ‘‘Video Games Interview,’’ we wanted someone who could speak for and about the games industry both articulately and provocatively. Our choice was Nolan Bushnell, the man whom many refer to as the “father of video games.” Since departing from Atari, which he founded, Bushnell has gone onto several new and fascinating ventures. I think you’ll find his comments invigorating.

In this issue, we’re proud to unveil five departments that we hope you’ll make a habit of looking for. The BLIPS section should be taken absolutely literally—it’s where you’ll find specks of information that mean a lot more than they may appear on the surface. DR. VIDEO will concern itself with the pros and cons of video gaming, clinically-speaking. HARD SELL should be able to provide you with answers to your questions about which TV-games systems and computers to buy. COIN-OP SHOP is strictly for arcaders only and BOOK BEAT for those who’d like to know more about all those video books that will be making the bestseller lists in the months to come. Lastly, a column devoted to game reviews will begin appearing in our next issue.

Sounds serious. It should also be a lot of fun. Get involved. Send us letters. Fill out the Reader’s Poll. And don’t forget that the 16-page “Beating the Games’’ pull-out is just that-snap it out of the middle of the magazine and take it with you to the arcades. Good luck.

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