Because seeing is believing.

Last night was interesting – a straight-line gust front slammed into the house around 10:30pm or so, and literally lifted stuff off the back deck and the side deck and deposited it across the street from our front yard, in the ditch or halfway up the mountain. Yeesh. The scary thing is, the wind really hasn’t let up – so the house phone is out of commission for the time being, and cable and power have been…well…intermittent. Sort of like the Land Shark version of a small hurricane.

Red eyes?  Dry eyes!  Clear eyes!  DEATH EYES!I’ve been getting a lot of gaming time in lately, because I’m working on an epic project that you may or may not have noticed. Using as little emulation and as much real original gaming hardware as possible, I’m working on adding actual video of various classic video games in action to Phosphor Dot Fossils. Why do this? Well, because I’m applying my own criticisms to myself. For years, I’ve admired such books as Supercade, Joystick Nation, Arcade Fever and so on for their depth of information and insight, and yet I’ve always felt that books are often inadequate to the task of really getting into the mindset of players of classic arcade or home video games. So much about video gaming is a visceral experience, sight and sound and instinct and reaction, peppered with little moments of fear, rage and victory, words on a page just don’t seem to cut it at times. So what if you could combine those sights and sounds and close-call thrills with the written word, not just with static snapshots but with video of the game being played? That’s the idea here. To keep the file sizes down, I try to keep things under 3 minutes of video, so the Flash movies end up clocking in somewhere around 3-6 megabytes…still a drop in the bucket compared to some Flash-heavy, bandwidth-eating monsters that lurk out there on the internet. And because I don’t think anyone should have to install, or wait for, anything they don’t want to, these pages are still merely an option – look for the Eye symbol next to the name of a game, and click on that instead of the name link. (For whatever it’s worth, the Eye comes from I, Robot, seen above.) Considering that there are at least a few hundred reviews in the Phosphor Dot Fossils archive, the time to completion of this video project is approximately 24 years (just kidding). It’ll take a little bit of time to be sure; I’m trying to make sure that almost all new game reviews have video so I don’t have to go back and add it later. Anyway, let me know how you like it or if you have any issues with the Flash videos. I think they’re rather entertaining myself.

Today, I played some G games for the video project – Galaxian, Galaga, Gaplus, Gyruss and Guzzler. If I remember correctly, I also played King & Balloon, Hangly Man and MagMax for the video recorder. As usual, I positivley suck at Galaxian, and didn’t fare too well with Gyruss or King & Balloon either. But I may have wound up with my best-ever game of Guzzler on digital videotape for posterity. (Why that Tehkan game was left off of Tecmo Classic Arcade, I have no idea – it’s an incredibly fun game and would’ve helped that release out a lot.) Oh, and speaking of good games recorded for the future, check out the video of me playing Swimmer this week – talk about pulling it out of the bag at the last possible moment…

Keep an eye out for the Eye! I C U

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