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Platform Studies, Intellivision

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Hi all,

 

I am a recent PhD grad and current postdoctoral researcher at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. My research largely involves the history of computer games and hobbyist game development tools -- topics which intersect at various points, such as in the home computer movement of the 1970s and 1980s. If you're curious, you can check out my dissertation here:

 

https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/79526

 

Recently I was in contact with Nick Montfort, and am very fortunate to have been given to go-ahead to put together a proposal (including sample chapters) for a Platform Studies work on the Intellivision! My interest in the Intellivision stems from a number of factors, including its close association with computer gaming. I recently visited the Don Daglow archive at the Strong Museum of Play, which, along with the wealth of documentary sources online, provided me with the impetus to start this project.

 

I am posting here because I want to be as transparent as possible with the online Intellivision community as I work. I have already made use of a fantastic disassembly of Utopia posted here, and want to cite my online sources in as much detail as possible. I might also come here for questions, if that's all right. Any and all help will be fully cited and acknowledged.

 

Since this is a Platform Studies work, the focus will be on the technical aspects of the system, and the affordances enabled therein. Areas of focus that I have identified so far are: sports games, the keypad controller, the keyboard peripheral, Utopia, and the exec. I'll start on these and see where things go.

 

Anyway, I'm very excited to be working on this! Thanks for reading!

 

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Your thesis sounds like a fascinating topic; I have added it to my reading list. :)

 

The Intellivision is an interesting beast when assessed against its contemporaries -- it is very much an artefact of its time, just as it was in some ways ahead of it.

 

You mentioned the keypad controller, but one specific technical area which I think you may find interesting is the Intellivision's 16 position disc-controller. Misunderstood and underutilised during its heyday, and equally mocked and dismissed in modern times; it is most likely the progenitor of modern sophisticated user input surfaces like the "d-pad." In fact, you can trace a direct lineage from the Intellivision disc, through the NES 4-way pad, to the analogue stick of modern times.

 

After all, for all that people like to ridicule it in retrospect, how many modern consoles do you see employing an actual joystick -- the Intellivision disc's primary competitor of its time?

 

Anyway, good luck in your research. Feel free to ask any questions around here, for there are plenty of knowledgeable people willing to share their experience. If you have specific technical questions, may I suggest visiting the "Intellivision Programming" sub-forum, where technical discussions are de rigueur (e.g., the author of that Utopia disassembly hangs around there).

 

I look forward to reading the results of your work. :)

 

-dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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Thanks so much for the kind words! The thesis was a bit of a beast, but I'm happy with the results.

 

And thanks for keying me into the disc controller. I clearly did not give it the credit it deserves! Interesting that it was so different and innovative.

 

I'll definitely visit here often. I'd also like to try my hand at Intellivision programming if I have the time. Thanks again!

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Hi all,

 

I am a recent PhD grad and current postdoctoral researcher at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. My research largely involves the history of computer games and hobbyist game development tools -- topics which intersect at various points, such as in the home computer movement of the 1970s and 1980s. If you're curious, you can check out my dissertation here:

 

https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/79526

 

Recently I was in contact with Nick Montfort, and am very fortunate to have been given to go-ahead to put together a proposal (including sample chapters) for a Platform Studies work on the Intellivision! My interest in the Intellivision stems from a number of factors, including its close association with computer gaming. I recently visited the Don Daglow archive at the Strong Museum of Play, which, along with the wealth of documentary sources online, provided me with the impetus to start this project.

 

I am posting here because I want to be as transparent as possible with the online Intellivision community as I work. I have already made use of a fantastic disassembly of Utopia posted here, and want to cite my online sources in as much detail as possible. I might also come here for questions, if that's all right. Any and all help will be fully cited and acknowledged.

 

Since this is a Platform Studies work, the focus will be on the technical aspects of the system, and the affordances enabled therein. Areas of focus that I have identified so far are: sports games, the keypad controller, the keyboard peripheral, Utopia, and the exec. I'll start on these and see where things go.

 

Anyway, I'm very excited to be working on this! Thanks for reading!

 

 

Absolutely fantastic Doc. Wells, It's a dream come true , to me at least . I tried to pursue Keith Robinson to get in touch with Ian Bogost years ago but I was not very fortunate with that . Now the wait is over.

 

"

Em 12-08-2012 13:33, Ian Bogost wrote:
Fabio, I'm a huge fan of the Intellivision too and have long hoped that we'd see a book in the series on it. However, surely you also know that many "dead" consoles have games still produced and for sale, although the Intellivision is certainly among them.
Anyway, if you and others would like to submit a proposal for a book, we'd welcome it. I wasn't sure if your message was meant to indicate your own intentions or just to encourage us to pursue one. If the former case, lay it on us. If the latter, fear not it's on our list, although most of the challenge of publishing these books involves finding willing and able authors.
Ian
On Aug 12, 2012, at 10:39 AM, Fabio Muller wrote:

Good Morning Professors , Today i discovered the platform studies series thanks to a wired.com article that mentioned the "racing the beam" book. Well as the site was opened to suggestion and as you have written a book about atari 2600 vcs, now it's time to give credit to its most terrific rival : Intellivision (....).

Rgds

Fabio "

 

I loved "racing the beam" except for the two references to the intellivision (icon_angry.gif ) now it's time to charge back. I think you gonna find a lot of good information here. Historic developers , new developers, a team of great hackers and enthusiast all together in a single place . Hope to see a great work coming.

 

Cheers..

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Absolutely fantastic Doc. Wells, It's a dream come true , to me at least . I tried to pursue Keith Robinson to get in touch with Ian Bogost years ago but I was not very fortunate with that . Now the wait is over.

 

"

Em 12-08-2012 13:33, Ian Bogost wrote:
Fabio, I'm a huge fan of the Intellivision too and have long hoped that we'd see a book in the series on it. However, surely you also know that many "dead" consoles have games still produced and for sale, although the Intellivision is certainly among them.
Anyway, if you and others would like to submit a proposal for a book, we'd welcome it. I wasn't sure if your message was meant to indicate your own intentions or just to encourage us to pursue one. If the former case, lay it on us. If the latter, fear not it's on our list, although most of the challenge of publishing these books involves finding willing and able authors.
Ian
On Aug 12, 2012, at 10:39 AM, Fabio Muller wrote:

Good Morning Professors , Today i discovered the platform studies series thanks to a wired.com article that mentioned the "racing the beam" book. Well as the site was opened to suggestion and as you have written a book about atari 2600 vcs, now it's time to give credit to its most terrific rival : Intellivision (....).

Rgds

Fabio "

 

I loved "racing the beam" except for the two references to the intellivision (icon_angry.gif ) now it's time to charge back. I think you gonna find a lot of good information here. Historic developers , new developers, a team of great hackers and enthusiast all together in a single place . Hope to see a great work coming.

 

Cheers..

 

Thanks, and thanks for the kind words! I really want to make sure this work lives up to expectations, so I'll make sure I do the research right. It's a great console that deserves a great book.

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