Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (Hardcover)

Nick Montfort, Ian Bogost

  • 出版商: MIT
  • 出版日期: 2009-03-01
  • 售價: $690
  • 語言: 英文
  • 頁數: 192
  • 裝訂: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 026201257X
  • ISBN-13: 9780262012577
  • 相關分類: 遊戲設計 Game-designComputer-networks
  • 立即出貨(限量) (庫存=1)



The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home videogame market so completely that "Atari" became the generic term for a videogame console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential videogame console from both computational and cultural perspectives.

Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms—the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics. Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space larger than the screen (anticipating the boundless virtual spaces of such later games as World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto), by allowing the player to walk off one side into another space; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was an early instance of interaction between media properties and video games.

Montfort and Bogost show that the Atari VCS—often considered merely a retro fetish object—is an essential part of the history of video games.

Platform Studies series


雅達利視頻電腦系統(Atari Video Computer System)在家用視頻遊戲市場上佔據了如此壟斷地位,以至於「Atari」成為了視頻遊戲主機的通用術語。雅達利VCS價格實惠,並提供可更換的遊戲卡帶,共創造了近千款遊戲卡帶,其中最重要的一些創立了新的技術、機制,甚至整個遊戲類型。本書從計算和文化的角度詳細且易於理解地研究了這款具有影響力的視頻遊戲主機。

數字媒體的研究很少涉及計算的基礎平台。本書(作為「平台研究系列」的第一本)則進行了這樣的研究,發展了一種批判性的方法,探討平台和創意表達之間的關係。Nick Montfort和Ian Bogost討論了雅達利VCS本身,並詳細研究了六款遊戲卡帶:《戰鬥》、《冒險》、《吃豆人》、《Yars' Revenge》、《陷阱》和《星球大戰:帝國反擊戰》。他們描述了系統的技術限制和可用性,並追蹤了編程、遊戲玩法、界面和美學的發展。例如,《冒險》是第一款呈現比屏幕更大虛擬空間的遊戲(預示著後來的《魔獸世界》和《俠盜獵車手》等無限虛擬空間的遊戲),玩家可以從一側走到另一個空間;而《星球大戰:帝國反擊戰》則是媒體產品和視頻遊戲互動的早期實例。