Arts·Archives

How CBC News reported on arcade games 33 years ago today

On this day in 1982, the fifth estate explored "the seductive world of video games." These were the days before Mario, "The Konami Code" and blowing on cartridges until they work. It was all so new, even the word "Atari" was unfamiliar — at least to the editors of the CBC News pronunciation guide.

Gaming was so new we were still deciding how to pronounce "Atari"

On this day in 1982, the fifth estate explored "the seductive world of video games." (CBC Digital Archives)

The year was 1982, and while Canadians were already crazy for Space Invaders and Pac-Man, helping to make arcade games "the continent's No. 1 growth industry," gaming was still brand new. These were the days before Mario, "The Konami Code" and blowing on cartridges until they work. It was all so new, even the word "Atari" was unfamiliar.

To see, and hear, what we mean, head to the CBC Digital Archives. On this day, 33 years ago, the fifth estate aired a comprehensive look at "the seductive world of video games."

Reporter Hana Gartner meets the designer behind the biggest title of 1981, Defender. Shades of King of Kong, their cameras also witness one of the first-ever video game championship marathons.

The prize? Bragging rights. And from Phil's Video Arcade, Gartner interviews competitors about their love of the games.

Later, "to further understand the secret pleasures of eating dots," the fifth estate travels to the "Pac-Man capital of the world," Davis, CA. There, they meet the first man to crack the classic game, a PhD student in math named Ed Bosso.

Watch the full report above, and visit CBC Digital Archives for more vintage clips about "The Arcade Age."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.