Site collects old video game advertisements

Old Video Game Advertisements is a website that collects new press releases issued by local solid waste authorities. Just kidding! It actually collects old video game advertisements. [via]

It's got quite a lot in there, organized by system, year and genre. My own memories directed me to old British stuff, of course. You can really see, for example, how Imagine Software built (and quickly blew) an early-80s game publishing bubble in the UK simply by hiring professional artists and designers to promote its (often slapdash or vaporware) games in an era when much competing work was very rudimentary.

The character design and advertising of UK computer games back then was really something. I think it's because decisionmakers would hire illustrators but rarely cartoonists. The result is a lot of outstanding figurative art and world-building (say Psygnosis or Oliver Frey), and plenty of dark humor (think Roger Tissyman) but anything supposed to be cute would be grotesque and amateurish. That sort of overbaked but inept cartooning by illustrators is a marker of old British advertising in general, but games in particular.