Some really interesting stuff in this Wikipedia article. It's easy to forget how complex the market is and how unintended consequences lurk behind every decision. For example, how a smaller coin in Japan meant a bigger impact from home game consoles.
The U.S. game industry lobbied in Washington, D.C. for a smaller $1 coin, closer to the size of a quarter, arguing that inflation (which had reduced the quarter's spending power by a third in the early 1980s) was making it difficult to prosper. During the 1970s, the dollar coin in use was the Eisenhower dollar, a large coin impractical for vending machines. The Susan B. Anthony dollar was introduced in 1979, and its size fit the video game manufacturers' demands, but it was a failure with the general public. Ironically, the new coin's similarity to the quarter was one of the most common complaints. In Canada, existing dollar bills were removed from circulation and replaced with coins in 1987.
Arcade machines in Japan had standardized the use of ¥100 coins, worth roughly $1, which industry veteran Mark Cerny proposed as a reason for the stability of the game industry in Japan, where the crash was known as the "Atari shock".
I was a teenager in the 80's and I definitely remember the sudden decline of home consoles between Coleco and Nintendo. It's interesting to think of a world where Nintendo did not prosper.
As a result, while some stores sold new games and machines, most retailers stopped selling video game consoles or reduced their stock significantly, reserving floor or shelf space for other products. This was the most formidable barrier that confronted Nintendo, as it tried to market its Famicom system in the United States. Retailer opposition to video games was directly responsible for causing Nintendo to brand its product an "Entertainment System" rather than a "console", using terms such as "control deck" and "Game Pak", as well as producing a toy robot called R.O.B. to convince toy retailers to allow it in their stores.
Stay with me. This isn't my typical link-post. It's also long so if you don't care about the web or independent writing, here's a nice article about genealogy and statistics.
Two recent articles by Jason Kottke mesh nicely with something that has been weighing on me ...
You can't miss the rise of hate, racism and the neo-Nazi movement on the internet. But somehow, The New York Times did. A Saturday profile of a Nazi sympathizer drew ...
Steven Poole over at The New Republic:
Gladwell is a brilliant salesman for a certain kind of cognitive drug. He tells his readers that everything they thought they knew about a subject is wrong, and then delivers what is presented as a counterintuitive discovery but is actually a bromide of ...
Still a long way to go for equal rights. Sad, really. Also, move the fuck out of Florida and stop spending money there!
This relationship occurred when they were both minors, and my daughter's girlfriend's parents waited until she turned 18 to arrest her.
Our CEO loves this picture. It is to all appearances his favorite piece of comic art for the game. He had it blown up poster-sized, framed, and displayed on the out-facing wall of his office. There, it looms over the front room like a ship’s ...
Jessica Testa has a lengthy article on BuzzFeed this week. The piece focuses on the televised suicide of a carjacker. It's a great piece of journalism from an unexpected source, BuzzFeed. I don't normally read BuzzFeed. That's not a knock against BuzzFeed. They have section titles like ...
A great Kickstarter from Zach Braff. Just sit and watch the money pour in. It went up by $60K in just the few minutes it took me to watch the video. Oh, that video. It's good.
I grabbed one of the $100 backer spots. There's 30 days left ...
Scruffy Thinking is a really good interview series. But I think I really love this last episode the best.
There's No Whining on the Yacht
Kanen talks to Aaron Draplin (the creator of Field Notes) about work, success and keeping your head straight. I loved every single sentence of ...
I love this little fact and so hope hipsters bring this style back.
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