8-Bit Apocalypse: The Untold Story of Atari's Missile Command

8-Bit Apocalypse: The Untold Story of Atari's Missile Command

by Alex Rubens


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The untold story of Atari’s Missile Command

With the advent of the arcade, Atari Inc. and its iconic game, Missile Command, were at the forefront of the industry’s explosion, helping usher in both the age of the video game and the gamer lifestyle. In 8-Bit Apocalypse, tech insider Alex Rubens delves into electronic history to tell of an era when arcade games were designed, written, and coded by individual designers. He interviews major figures including Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Missile Command creator David Theurer, who suffered from frequent nightmares of nuclear holocaust as he worked on the game. The first in-depth, personal history of the era, 8-Bit Apocalypse combines Rubens’s tech industry knowledge and experience as a gaming journalist to conjure the wild silicon frontier of the ’80s.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419738937
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,144,826
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alex Rubens is a strategic partner manager at Google, managing content partnerships for YouTube’s eSports division. He has written articles on video game culture and development for outlets such as Complex and HuffPost, and for video game websites Polygon and IGN. He lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Foreword 11

Introduction 15

1 At Any Moment 27

2 Atari: The Early Gaming Pioneers 39

3 Coin-Op's Revenge 65

4 The First Concept 81

5 Getting the Green Light 97

6 Finding Meaning in Pixels 107

7 Failure to Innovate Was Anti-Atari 119

8 When Passion Turns to Obsession 125

9 Melting Flesh 133

10 The Tests Begin 141

11 Into the Wild 151

12 The Public Loves It 159

13 From the Ground Up: The Story of Tempest 187

14 The Great Crash 193

15 Lasting Influence 199

16 The Second Cold War 213

17 Defining a New Generation of Games 221

18 "Do You Feel Like a Hero Yet?" 227

19 Pioneering the Future 237

Epilogue 247

Acknowledgments 253

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