Friends, I hope you are more than ready to take a trip back to 1982 with Video Games: A Public Perspective, which was a public service video for communities worried about video games and arcades. During the Golden Age of the arcades it is certainly easy to see why Atari would spend the effort to produce and fund the nearly 20 minute long PSA, the older people who are interviewed at the beginning of the video itself sum up a lot of the fears that were running rampant back in the day.
As was demonstrated in that video by Patrick Scott Patterson, it’s not like video game worries have ever truly ceased to be a concern for panic among certain groups. Before I dive into why you should set aside your time to watch Video Games: A Public Perspective though, I need to point out that until yesterday I didn’t even know it existed. It was all thanks to the historians over at Atarimania who have shared the 1982 Atari community awareness pamphlet, which besides offering a VHS copy of the public service announcement, also added the option for an industry spokesperson to appear in front of a concerned community group to discuss any lingering fears.
Now I feel that bit of Atari history is worthy of a post all on it’s own, to demonstrate how the legendary game company was trying to get out ahead of the very same fears that managed to cause pinball to be banned for so many years in most cities. Having said all of that however, Video Games: A Public Perspective also happens to provide an amazing look back at the Golden Age of arcades and video games. In addition it also features interviews with the likes of Dona Bailey, who of course designed the Atari classic Centipede back in 1981. Bailey just so happens to live in my neck of the woods, although as far as I am aware, she has yet to pay a visit to the arcade I work at.
Perhaps what is most surprising in the video though is how many level-headed concerns as well as solutions are brought up in Video Games: A Public Perspective. Granted most of them fall on the side of pro-video games, but my favorite comes from Vinnie Settembre – who looks like he could whip up a mean pizza!