Atari is launching its own cryptocurrency, because of course it is.
The company’s Paris-listed stock rose as much as 111% between February 4 and February 15. The company says it is investing in a “crypto platform” that will use its own digital currency, the “Atari Token.” It can be used to – you guessed it – play video games.
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Game over: Todd Rogers, longtime holder of countless videogame speed-run records, is being removed from the record tables after "the body of evidence" weighed strongly against the credibility of his claimed times.
Player Todd Rogers has been stripped of his world record for finishing the simple Atari 2600 racing game Dragster, after months of debate over his completion time. ...Yet Rogers never provided recorded or other proof of his 5.51 time in Dragster, a sticking point in the years that followed. His personal website offered a simple explanation of how he achieved his unbeatable time, while maintaining that Activision’s certification of his time — highlighted in one of the company’s newsletters — was enough to cement his place on the gaming leaderboards.
Yet when Twin Galaxies introduced a new process for disputing scores in July 2017, Rogers’ time in Dragster was one of the first to be challenged. In August 2017, several community members submitted Rogers’ 5.51-second Dragster finish for review. A thread on the Twin Galaxies’ forum about how Rodgers’ Dragster time was technically impossible ran for nearly 300 pages and included almost 3,000 posts
The Dragster record imbroglio not only puts all of Rogers' times out of play, but implied that folks at Activision and Twin Galaxies responsible for verifying times were negligent or complicit. Rogers was also banned from the Twin Galaxies site.
Previously: Video game record-setter accused of cheating
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The Ataribox looks great but $300?????
Looks like this proposed box that could have been a complete Atari 2600 library with paddles and blocky joysticks is instead an Atari inspired set-top streaming box!!?
According to Mac, the Ataribox will cost somewhere between $250 and $300. It’ll run Linux and have an AMD processor with Radeon graphics, facilitating a more open, PC-like experience than standard set-top boxes. But if that sounds intriguing to you, you’ll have to wait a little while because Atari needs to crowdfund it through IndieGoGo first. Mac said that a campaign to raise cash will launch in the Fall of 2018.
“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores,” Mac told VentureBeat. “We wanted to create a killer TV product where people can game, stream, and browse with as much freedom as possible, including accessing pre-owned games from other content providers.”
That all sounds fine. Powerful and customizable tech has its audience. But the big idea of releasing a retro-console is offering a bunch of classic content. Putting out a sleek, wood-paneled box with the name Atari slapped on it creates an expectation that you’ll get all the Atari gaming money can buy. Unfortunately the company is still being cagey about what will come with the Ataribox when you fire it up.
I just want to play Star Raiders.
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For better or worse, video game designer/programmer Howard Scott Warshaw is perhaps best known for the Atari 2600 game "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982). That game is considered by many to be the worst video game in history and blamed for driving the video game industry crash of 1983. (To be fair, it wasn't entirely Warshaw's fault. He was also the talented developer behind the classic Yars' Revenge and other fine titles.) Above is the Big Story of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Warshaw, now a psychotherapist in Silicon Valley.
And in case you missed it, the film Atari: Game Over is a wonderful documentary about E.T. and the mass burial of unsold copies of the game.
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Seth Bling built a functioning Atari 2600 emulator in Minecraft. Not just the processor, or the box, but the whole thing, complete with cartridges and a television. The white flashing line you see in it is the television's scanning electron beam being emulated. You can watch dirt blocks turn to stone and back: that's the ones and zeroes in the Atari's memory. You can edit the memory, bit by bit, by punching it!
It takes Minecraft about three minutes to draw each frame, but Bling recorded a timelapse of it in action. Click through to the YouTube for a download of the Minecraft world housing the emulator. Here's a technical explanatory video:
Previously: Extremely Mundane Places In Minecraft Read the rest
The Art of Atari is a new hardcover celebrating the wonderful illustrations of the iconic game company's packaging, catalogs, and other artwork that, according to the book's introduction written by Ernest "Ready Player One" Cline, was "specially commissioned to enhance the Atari experience to further entice children and adults to embrace the new era of electronic entertainment." Speaking from personal experience, it totally worked.
The Art of Atari (Amazon)
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In 2010, Ed Fries, a former Microsoft VP of game publishing, programmed an Atari 2600 version of Halo. The game, titled Halo 2600, has now been added to the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Smithsonian magazine interviewed Fries:
I don’t want to get too caught up in "Art" with a capital A in a sense, because then it becomes this whole kind of pointless argument about what is art to begin with. I think what matters is, can we tell human stories in a way that affect people—maybe change how they feel about themselves, or the world or exposes them to something that they haven’t been exposed to before? And in the game business, that simple thing is actually pretty hard. I mean, it’s taken us many years and a lot of technological advance to be able to make realistic characters on a screen that look like people, that don’t look like robots, that move like real people, that when they talk, the way their mouths move or eyes sparkle. You know, that doesn’t make you feel like you’re looking at a puppet—that makes you feel like you’re looking at a real human being. Once you get past that, then you open up the door to tell real stories about real people but in a way that’s different than a movie because the player’s in control. And that’s the promise for video games.
"Demaking Halo, Remaking Art: 'Halo 2600' Developer Discusses the Promise of Video Games
" (Smithsonian) Read the rest
After producing too many copies of its infamously terrible E.T.
game, Atari dumped the unsold inventory in a remote New Mexico landfill
. Thirty years on, the local authorities have greenlighted an excavation to see exactly what's down there.
[John Bear at The Alamogordo Daily News
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AT Games has released the new Atari Flashback 4 console, this time with wireless joysticks. It's loaded with Asteroids, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Jungle Hunt, Centipede and 70 more classics, but not E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Here's the menu:
Demons to Diamonds,
Fun with Numbers,
Off The Wall,
Return to Haunted House,
Atari Flashback 4 (Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest