Monday, August 10, 2009


In an effort to keep this pointless blog alive, I've decided to post a Random Shitlink every Monday. Basically, it will be anything I find amusing, interesting, annoying and/or completely and utterly stupid. I have no idea, but one thing is for sure: you sure as shit won't be learning anything.

Today's link is from KLOV (Killer List of Videogames).


I'm not going to lie: I love video games. This is directly attributable to me growing up at the height of the "arcade" era, when PAC-MAN fever was both a rampant social disease and a massive hit song, and just at the beginning of the "home gaming system" craze with the introduction of the Atari 2600 and Mattel Electronics IntelliVision.

What the early video games of the 1970s lacked in overall graphical presentation they made up for in creativity. (The opposite can be said for some of today's games, which look frighteningly photorealistic but can be boiled down to: "hey, let's shoot stuff and make things 'splode"). Programmers were frequently coming up with more alluring and addictive ways to entertain and delight. In their quest for quarters, not every idea was a winner.

Enter GOTCHA, the 4th game ever made by Atari Games in 1973. This simple 2 player arcade game consisted of a simple maze, where the object was for the "Pursuer" (a "square") to catch the "Pursued" (a "+" sign). Each player used an optical trackball to control their on-screen counterpart. Sounds pretty innocuous, right? However, this game created a bit of controversy when it was released.

First of all, let's start with the weird photo of a sweatered preppie stalker grabbing the woman on the waist from behind, which in the 70s constituted "consensual sex". Second of all, take a look at the mammary-shaped controls on the game itself. Apparently, several people who worked at Atari joked that typical video game joysticks looked too "phallic". In response, video game designers decided to create a "female" game that instead featured pink rubber bulges resembling breasts that were squeezed to control the action. The game was later re-fitted with standard joysticks, but needless to say neither version was well received.

Video game programmers must be a lonely bunch.

Reference: Wikipedia (Gotcha - arcade game)

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