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[26 Dec 2010 | One Comment | 1,356 views]
The week in review

So, did everyone have a good Christmas? Was Santa good to everyone?
We at First Arkansas News sure hope so and well understand that the festivities of the season may have kept some people from checking in here and picking up the latest news. In case you missed anything, we’ve provided this handy review of the stories we’ve had for the past week. Yay!
Before getting into that, however, it’s time to plug the easy ways to keep up with this little site. We’ve got email updates, an RSS feed and new …

Features and such, Retrogaming, Technology »

[19 Dec 2010 | One Comment | 2,568 views]
Christmas comes to PacLand

Any child of the 1980s should remember the Pac-Man cartoon show that was produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1982 and 1983.
That show, of course, was based on the arcade game that we were all wacky over in the 1980s. Yes, that game remains popular today, but the same really can’t be said of the Saturday morning cartoon that a bunch of us followed.
By the way, what the heck happened to Saturday morning cartoons, anyway? Looks like having cable stations airing cartoons 24 hours a day may have cut into the ritual …

Retrogaming, Technology »

[25 Nov 2010 | One Comment | 4,774 views]
The Video Game Crash of 1983

The video game systems we’ve covered so far in our Retrogaming series here at First Arkansas News have been from the so-called second generation of video game consoles.
The second generation started in 1977 with the introduction of the Atari VCS (later called the Atari 2600). Other major second generation systems included the Bally Astrocade, Magnavox Odyssey 2, Mattel Intellivision, Emerson Arcadia 2001, Atari 5200, ColecoVision and the GCE Vectrex.
By 1984, Coleco, Magnavox and Mattel had left the video game industry, some minor publishers (Games by Apollo and U.S. Games) were …

Features and such, Retrogaming, Technology »

[15 Nov 2010 | 3 Comments | 5,823 views]
Magnavox Odyssey 2 — an ‘also-ran’ with a devoted fan base

Years ago, most kids my age in this town had a video game console of some sort.
The overwhelming majority of us in my neighborhood had Atari 2600s, but there was one fellow who had something completely different, — the Magnavox Odyssey 2. While I can’t honestly say any of us preferred the Odyssey 2 to our Ataris, that little Magnavox system had a lot going for it and provided hours of fun.
Still, Magnavox’s foray into the U.S. gaming market wasn’t entirely successful. It’s worth mentioning that that the Odyssey 2 …

Retrogaming, Technology »

[13 Nov 2010 | 4 Comments | 3,943 views]
Bally Astrocade — should have been a contender

What do you get when you put together a video game console with graphics and sound that were well ahead of what the Atari 2600 had to offer and one of the best controllers of any early gaming system?
You get the Bally Astrocade, a system that was released (sort of) in 1977 and had a lot going for it. If you just look at the specs, the system should have whipped the socks of the Atari, frankly — the CPU was faster, the graphics were sharper and even rivaled the …