Lots of pictures, thought I'd make it its own entry.
Here are the participants that took, what, 6 months to play through?
They seem like such tiny piles . . .
Here we have the 1978 Atari VCS family with their enlightened 7800-only cousin from the future and the underused but kinda cool keyboard controllers. The Cuttle Cart 2, for those who don't know, is used to play games on Atari hardware for which I no longer have the original carts.
Here's my little APF collection. I included the manual, Cartridge Club card and catalog sheet just to make the picture more interesting. If it ain't here, I couldn't play it. Except for Brickdown / Shooting Gallery, which was here, it just didn't work. There are emulators out there for this, but I've found no ROMS.
This is the Bally Professional Arcade console with its 1978 progeny. I used MESS to get to the ones not present in physical form. BTW, that Red Baron cart is dead, but its appearance would lead someone to think otherwise. Oh, also notice my butt-ugly homebrew Bally controller frankensteined from Atari controllers. It's not only ugly, it's a pain in the ass to use, too.
Here's the Bally Box. Notice the arcade cabs on the front. There's Sea Wolf. See it on the left? Ya can't take that home on a cart! From Sea Wolf we see Tornado Baseball, 280Zzzap, Checkmate, and Gun Fight. I thought this picture was interesting because you can see they were selling two levels of experience here. First, they were trying to get across that playing the home system was like playing the games in the arcade. Second, by putting costumed persons next to the games (at least the Sailor and the Umpire) they were trying to sell the idea that playing these games was like doing whatever it was those games were having you pretend to do. Something else to notice is the age range of the players at the cabinets. Kids at the Baseball cab, granny at the Checkmate cab. Back in 1978, the "powers that was" were trying to get everybody to play videogames. Young and old, regardless of gender, were part of the target demographic. Of course, all types play games now, too, they're just divided up onto different platforms: console gamers, pc gamers, MMORPG gamers and casual gamers. Not meant to be a comprehensive list.
Hey! I do have the instructions for Video Whizball, after all! I'll have to type them in some day. If I had remembered I had them when I wrote Whizball's entry I wouldn't have gone all apeshit in making up a backstory for it.
I think the Odyssey^2 boxes are purty. Odyssey and Odyssey^2 did a really nice job staying consistent with their box designs. Notice on the bottom right, the glorious Odyssey^2 Multi-cart.
Here's the first "Ultimate" System! Can YOU name every "Ultimate" system there's been?
Next entry, I'll try to show the "Unplayed, but not forgotten" for 1978.