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November 2015 Retro Gaming Article


November 8, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The video game packaging that once told epic stories will become: Box Art- A Gaming Documentary

Video Game Box art was glorious, colorful, exciting, telling, but sometimes misleading. Back in the day, I knew I had to have Space Invaders and Asteroids for my Atari 2600, but what was Yar's Revenge? The weaponized insect on the box cover looked hardcore and the small screen shot on the back was different from any game I'd ever seen. I was sold! When I put that cart into my 2600, I knew I'd found a gem. That box art began a story that continued on my parent's TV and left me with vivid memories that I now share with my son!

Box Art Documentary If you love gaming box art... The team that created the Nintendo Quest documentary, are back with Box Art - A Gaming Documentary to explore the origins, people, and history of box art in the video game world!

The film will delve into the world of video game box art with a story that probes the origins of the cover art by talking with the people responsible for making some of the most iconic images we love. Learn the process, impact, how things changed over time, and where box art will be in the future.

Keep up to date via their Box Art Doc website , Facebook, and Twitter accounts. If you followed Nintendo Quest on social media, you know these guys will immerse you in their journey often providing unprescedented access. We're loking forward to this new path into gaming box art.

In A World Without Info...

Imagine a world with no Internet. A life in which information had little real-time connection and was often out of date long before it reached it's intended audience. This sounds like a post-apocalyptic scenario, but in tandem with this odd world... the economy was booming, retail was thriving, and people were happy.

"Impossible!" you say. Hardly. It was an era I remember fondly. We called it the 1980s.

Games at Toys R Us in 2007 I loved arcades in the 80s and the ports to the Atari 2600 were amazing to me. I knew the arcade versions were far superior, but being able to play these games at home was way cool. However, there were a lot of original games designed for home game consoles that were unknown to consumers.

Yar's Revenge, for example, arrived on store shelves without anyone knowing it evolved from a failed Star Castle port. It became one of Atari's most successful games, but who would have known how good it was when it was first released?

Box Art -vs- Game Play

Prior to the Internet, it was hard to get the word out about new games. It was equally hard to get reviews or info about new games. Once the NES had a foothold, the problem intensified - there were lots of games on retail shelves, and it only got worse.. How were we to figure out which ones were good? The box art! Many of us used those beautiful artist's interpretations as a guide to the inner contents. This resulted in some successes as well as the purchase of some awful games wrapped in beautiful artwork.

During the early NES era, I could easily spend hours flipping through the laminated box covers adorning the gaming aisles in Toys R Us. I loved space battles, so that was the first thing I looked for. After identifying some candidates, I would begin examining the back-sides of the laminated packaging to see what morsels of info I could glean. After all, this was my hard earned money I was wagering on finding an awesome game.

Video game box art The wealth of information on the web makes evaluating games much easier than simply relying on box art. None the less, many of us have an affinity for the elaborate box art that sometimes gave valid hints about a game's content.

Statistically I think I bought an equal amount of bad games with great artwork as great games with awful artwork. There was no correlation between good art and good games, but that didn't stop me from believing. I'm surprised I don't walk down the game aisle with dowsing rods to find that perfect game. :)

I started out as an Atari kid and graduated to Nintendo, but there are many different consoles and computers, each with their own unique games and amazing box art. Having been very impressed with the quality and professionalism that went into the Nintendo Quest project, I'm confident that Rob McCallum's next film, Box Art- A Gaming Documentary, will be a terrific foray into the art adorning our favorite video games. It's an exciting topic that we're really looking forward to following!

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