A brief history of the bizarre, unholy offspring of Tetris

In 1984, Alexey Pajitnov, then working for the Russian Academy of Sciences, completed his masterpiece, Tetris. It was perfection and, sadly, could only go downhill from there, as the inimitable videogamedunkey explains in this delightful video above.

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Fantastic Super Mario Bros. stop-motion paper animation in a notebook

Kisaragi double 6 created this fantastic hand-drawn stop-motion animation of the Super Mario Bros (1985) World 1-1 level.

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Archival music collection from June Chikuma, composer of the "Bomberman" videogame soundtracks

June Chikuma is the Japanese composer behind the beloved soundtracks to Nintendo’s Bomberman series and countless other videogame, TV, and film scores. Now, Chikuma's 1986 album "Divertimento" has been expanded into a new edition titled Les Archives, available from the Freedom To Spend label. The vinyl edition of Les Archives also includes a limited 7" with tunes from the era that didn't make the original Divertimento release. The above video, "June Rebuilds," was directed by Amanda Kramer and features the track "Broadcast Profanity Delay" from Les Archives. From the release announcement:

While Freedom To Spend’s reinvented edition bares little visual evidence of its origins in the composer’s name, title, or sleeve design, the album, a whooping gonzo of synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, and a mysterious string quartet, remains as vibrant now as it did when released on Toru Hatano’s Picture Label as Divertimento in 1986. In fact, the music of Les Archives now glows with a different purpose; one that revises the past while maintaining, and finally elevating, its hidden influence.

A woman of multiple disciplines and identities, June Chikuma (竹間 淳, Chikuma Jun) has composed for TV, film, and video games over the past thirty plus years. Her proto-techno and drum and bass soundtracks for Nintendo’s Bomberman franchise in the 80s and 90s is an oeuvre unto itself. In more recent years her musical focus has turned toward classic Arabic and Egyptian music. Chikuma studies Arabic nay, playing and performing with Le Club Bachraf ensemble. In a melding of June’s contrasting, colorful worlds, Le Club Bachraf composed part of the original score for the 2007 video game Sonic and The Secret Rings.

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Why video games are made of triangles.. smaller and smaller triangles

The power is in the polygons.

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Play HATETRIS, the most frustrating version of Tetris ever

According to its infernal creator, HATETRIS "is bad Tetris. It's hateful Tetris. It's Tetris according to the evil AI from 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.'"

Background, hints, and links to others' prior work here.

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Four or five people 'floss' in Times Square for New Years

Streaming sensation Ninja attempted to lead a very wet New York's Times Square mob in a million person 'Floss.'

Ninja and his wife gave it their best and got soaked in the attempt. Apparently, support for the Backpack Kid crushed the crowds enthusiasm. Read the rest

Firewatch available for Nintendo Switch

The fantastic indie game Firewatch, in which you play a fire lookout living alone in a firewatch tower in the middle of a Wyoming wilderness, is now available on the Nintendo Switch for $20.

The year is 1989.

You are a man named Henry who has retreated from your messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched atop a mountain, it's your job to find smoke and keep the wilderness safe.

An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—and is your only contact with the world you've left behind.

But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world below, you'll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

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K-Swiss's new line of performance sneakers for videogaming

K-Swiss and esports organization Immortals is releasing sneakers designed for playing videogames.

Bloomberg reports that the "performance" version of the sneaker, called the Grandmaster, "will include the ability to quickly kick the shoes off hands-free. That should help provide comfort during long matches."

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Teardown of the new PlayStation Classic

Jerry of JerryRigEverything takes apart the new PlayStation Classic, a miniature replica of the original Playstation that comes preloaded with 20 games.

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Remember the Vectrex videogame system from the 1980s? It had a little brother

For those who don't know, the Vectrex was Milton Bradley's videogame console with an integrated vector graphics display that was introduced in 1982. As cool and unique as Vectrex was, it was only on the market for two years before succumbing to the video game crash of 1983. A few years ago, photos turned up revealing that Milton Bradley had apparently prototyped a more portable version of the console. Other than what was seen in those images though, there was little-to-no information about the actual system, like whether it actually worked or was just a mock-up. Until now. The National Videogame Museum has actually acquired one of the working prototypes!

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PlayStation sneakers from Nike

Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star and retro-videogamer Paul George worked with Nike and Sony on a new pair of PS1-inspired sneakers. Due out December 1, the PG 2.5 x PlayStation design follows on the heels (sorry) of the black PG2 x PlayStation sneakers that were released in February and sold out in a hot minute.

"For those who know me, gaming is a big part of who I am – I love the fans and I love this community, so it was amazing to see the gaming and sneaker worlds collide with the original PG2 collaboration," George writes. "This time around, I wanted to take the design old school, back to my earliest days of gaming. For me – as I’m sure many of you can relate – those memories date back to the original PlayStation."

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Super Mario Bros accompanied by a live big band!

The 8-Bit Big Band is a jazz/pops orchestra that performs video game music. In this video, they're accompanying "Be More Chill" actor George Salazar as he plays through first two worlds of Super Mario Bros. "All sound FX performed live on drum pads!" Read the rest

Play Bubble Bobble, Wolfenstein, and 13,000 other Commodore 64 disks free online

The Internet Archive now offers in-browser emulation of more than 13,000 Commodore 64 floppy disks. The Sentinel, Paradroid, Oregon Trail, Wasteland... they're all there, waiting for you.

Software Library: C64 (Internet Archive)

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Pete Rose, Pelé, and Don Knotts pitching the Atari game system (1978)

Here are soccer legend Pelé, comedy actor Don Knotts, and since-disgraced baseball hit king Pete Rose pitching the Atari Video Computer System in 1978. "Don't just watch television tonight - play it!" Read the rest

This fellow reached the highest intensity level possible on Roller Coaster Tycoon 2

Marcel Vos's creation hit the highest intensity rating possible on RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. Vos has named the coaster "Big Scary Motherfucker." Read the rest

Fancy arcade game simulator cabinet inspired by Pong's design

The design of the ORIGINX wall-mounted arcade cabinet was inspired by the simple wood and yellow paint of the original Pong arcade game from 1972. The walnut and aluminum tribute is an edition of 50 and available for €2,899.00 (US$3407). From Love Hultén:

The standard version runs on a built-in modern computer, emulating all your favorite games through MAME - but the cabinet can aslo be customized to run the original JAMMA board of your choice. OriginX comes with a 19" 4:3 LCD, and to boost the authentic arcade experience Hultén adds a custom barrel distortion filter to mimic classic CRT monitors.

(via Uncrate)

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Kamasi Washington's killer new soul-jazz track inspired by videogame arcades of yore

Cosmic saxophonist, composer, and spiritual jazz revivalist Kamasi Washington has released a new jam inspired by his teenage experiences at the videogame arcade. "Street Fighter Mas" will appear on Washington's forthcoming album "Heaven and Earth" out June 22. Listen:

Washington says:

When I was younger, I was in between the end of the arcade generation and the beginning of the console generation. We used to go to this place called Rexall to play Street Fighter. At Rexall, there would be different people from different hoods there playing the game. It was the one place that was like an equalizer. It was just about how good you were at Street Fighter...for the most part. In other places, you were afraid of these dudes; there, you would just play the game and it was what it was, you know? I was really good at Street Fighter, so where the song really came from was me jokingly saying I was going to have my own theme song so that when I showed up to play Street Fighter they’d play my theme song before I came in, like a boxer. In the context of the album, it was the connection that we got with those guys in our neighborhood. We used to call them OGs, the older guys that we looked up to.

In a lot of ways, for me, video games was the way I connected with them because I was never affiliated with any gangs, but I knew them and I was cool with them and that was mainly through the video games.

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