An amazing lego recreation of Flynn’s arcade, from the groundbreaking 1982 videogame culture film Tron. How did Joel Baker build it? It’s all in the wrist.
Ways to Play
A convenient way of playing classic video games on a Windows PC without the hassle of juggling multiple emulators. Free to try, then upgrade to play their entire catalog.
Classic console and arcade games ready to play on your browser. Some of the links come up empty, but there are still quite a few working if you poke around.
Plug and Play TV games are another way to play classic games, and usually offer replica controllers that, while not feeling exactly like the original joysticks, work miles better than a keyboard.
Another nice emulator support site, with reviews, news and interviews.
MAME is a computer program that supports 1000′s of arcade games, both classic and more recent offerings. It emulates the original game’s hardware, allowing ROM images dumped from the original memory chips to be played on your computer system. It is without a doubt one of the best downloads you’ll ever make.
A native Mac OS X port of the venerable MAME arcade game emulator.
This site probably has the most complete coverage of this incredible program.
If you want to play classic console and arcade games on the Mac with any kind of ease of convenience, you want to use this emulator, which supports (at the time of this writing) nearly 30 different platforms.
Built into MAME and MESS is a cheat system, allowing memory addresses to be tinkered with for infinite lives, faster speed and other player performance enhancers. This is the site to go to to keep up with the updated cheat.dat file, containing the addresses for the latest round of games added to MAME. If you’re into cheating, which I am not. Not at all. Never had to resort to that kind of chicanery in say, Black Tiger. Nosiree!
A stunning site that lets you run Apple II games right in your browser. Almost every game made for that platform is represented here. Hours upon hours of fun and nostalgia. If you prefer running your Apple II games in an actual emulator instead, a large list of such programs is provided.
Retro Scene Coverage
A treasure-trove of retro game and computer info, with a focus on Commodore. Makes sense, since the site is run by Commodore’s own Dave Haynie!
CGE is a retro video game convention that has been going for decades. I no longer have a good link to a home website for CGE, so this entry links to their Twitter feed.
Another great stop for anyone interested in classic gaming and the emulators that let you relive it. Offers such services as the Retro Mall, classic game reviews, FAQ archive and sound and image sections.
The home of Shane Monroe, mouthpiece for the emulation scene. Also included are various multimedia hi-jinks that will burn up all that spare bandwidth you have lying around, heh. RetroGaming Radio is a must-listen for anyone interested in retro gaming.
I really need to create a list of Odyssey² links, but for now I’ll place this here.The key to this site is the massive amount of information on Magnavox’s legendary console. Be sure to read the exhaustive O2 FAQ, as well as the timeline. In a word, Enormous!
Home of a great podcast that deals in large part with the classic gaming scene, along with whatever else the hosts want to shoot the breeze about. Give it a listen.
From the ashes of the wonderful Yesterdayland website comes Retroland, built upon a similar vein of mining pop culture history, but without quite the same panache as the original site. Still, plenty to read and remember here.
Another great history of the early systems and games.
Known for his meticulous record-keeping (a habit that probably came in pretty handy during 20 years of videogame patent litigation), it’s no surprise that Ralph Baer maintains the most detailed and informative history of the development of the first commercial home TV videogame system, what eventually became Magnavox’s Odyssey. Full of fascinating information, along with a plethora of incredible images, including the “brown box” prototype and even scans of the handwritten conceptual notes he made prior to its development.
A very interesting series of articles on classic home game consoles; nicely written and quite in-depth.
A nice timeline of video game history put together by the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.
So. When the idea of developing The Dot Eaters was knocking around my head back in 1997-98, Greg Chance’s frighteningly large archive of home system information, from 1972 to 1996, was one of the few sites actually providing a comprehensive history of video games. It is now reduced to a web index of his content, but it is still worth taking the trouble to poke around the material. Hit the museum button to see it. As for Chance’s dignified site logo of Grover taking a dump while gripping his joystick, if you nose around The Dot Eaters enough, you just might catch him relieving himself.
Similar to what I described in the blurb for Greg Chance’s video game history site, Videotopia was one of the few sites dealing in video game nostalgia when I started out with The Dot Eaters back in ’98. It continues as a huge travelling exhibition of classic videogames, both arcade and home consoles. On the advisory board are such videogame luminaries as Al Acorn (PONG), Ralph Baer (Odyssey), Nolan Bushnell (Computer Space, PONG), and Eugene Jarvis (Defender) among others. Not too shabby. The website contains the major entries in the exhibit, along with a truncated history for each.
Museums and Indices
The Nexus was a priceless portal for classic video game websites, that unfortunately was shut down in 2003. In my original blurb for the link, I described it as the Yahoo! of classic arcade and home videogaming, back when Yahoo! was the defacto portal onto the Internet. The link provided here sends you to the archived version of the site at the Internet Archive. The Nexus currently is like a big old, abandoned Victorian mansion, pieces of which are falling off as the links it contains slowly but surely go defunct or are changed. A lot of the links are still valid though, so it’s worth a poke around the ashes.
Find ALL the secrets!
An index of game reviews, making it easy for punters to pony up the dosh, cor blimey! Sorry, I think I just had a flashback to Amiga Zone magazine.
With the KLOV (Killer List of Videogames) website as their Internet face, the IAM is a collection of collectors and preservationists dedicated to maintaining and promoting the history of video games.
A serious collection of video game hardware and software, dedicated to the preservation of the history of our favourite pastime, housed in the iconic The Strong museum in Rochester, New York.
What I consider the “rottentomatoes.com” of computer games review sites. Gathers all of the reviews for a game and provides an average score, as well as links to the individual reviews themselves. Of course, the quality of a game is a very subjective thing, but this site still provides a good starting point for a possible purchase. Very handy.
There’s nothing nicer then measuring voltages on a good, solid Tek oscilloscope. Here’s a page with a large collection of the green phosphorous beasts of yore.
A brick & mortar tribute to the history of video games, located in Frisco, TX, USA. Founders John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Joe Santulli have been collecting video game artifacts for decades, and their vast archive is presented through displays with visual panache and fascinating information.
A large museum of computer hardware and videogames, with a European bent. In particular I point you to the “Stupid Scan of the Week” link on the site under the “fun” tab, which is a pretty hilarious analysis of those idiotic product shots game and computer companies loved so much in the 70′s and 80′s.
A great layout, lots of information and plenty of multimedia flash highlight this terrific retrogaming site. Things to check out here include the Emulators section, the comprehensive Library including an impressive collection of streaming classic gaming commercials, and a 24/7 retro radio stream. Great stuff!
Since 1981, this has been the Guinness Book of videogaming achievement. All manner of games are included, along with gaming news and interviews with the talented people who have mastered them.
Literally thousands of TV videogame ads for practically every major game system from classic to modern. Features quite a few banned ads as well, where it’s always interesting to see just how far societal norms have drifted, one way or the other.
A massive collection of historical video game hardware, software and other paraphernalia related to the industry. Running 25 years and counting, it is a must see for anyone interested in videogaming’s storied past.
A brilliant index of non-sensical texts derived from bad Japanese game translations for the English market, complete with corroborating screenshot AND audio evidence. A winner is you! If you ever wondered what the big “All your base are belong to us” Internet meme was about, someone set us up the search for “Zero Wing”.
From the guys that maintained the excellent cheat archive at the Adrenaline Vault for so many years, comes a website built from the ground up to feature game reviews, as well as a nice mixture of type-in cheats, trainers and strategy guides. If you’re into cheating, which I of course am not. Never had to resort to this kind of chicanery in games like Empire Earth. Nosiree!
This was my main go-to site of the non-tree-killer computer games magazines, dating back to when it was called VideoGameSpot. It got huge, with lots of previews, cheats, demos, videos, betas, interviews and even user submittable game reviews back when user submittable content was a rare thing. In the wake of the dot.com collapse, they moved to a subsciption model with “Gamespot Complete” to get even basic services like game screenshots and the ability to submit game reviews. At any rate, I have to admit that I broke down and subscribed, and never had cause to regret the decision until the Gerstmann Affair. The site Giant Bomb is listed below, which is Jeff Gerstmann’s next and rather excellent site. Go there instead.
After Gamespot fired senior editor Jeff Gerstmann for not kowtowing to a publisher’s demands to edit a review of his in their favour (details in Gamespot link above), he started this site. I highly recommend it.
Another big cheat archive, this one with cheats across a variety of platforms including the Amiga, classic consoles, modern videogame systems, even Dreamcast games for Christ’s sake!
I love this site. Informative and hilarious.
Web presence for the magazine, which I really can’t recommend enough. It provides endlessly interesting articles on the games, systems and designers of yore, all with a brilliantly slick and exciting design. Essential for any classic video game history buff.
Play the classic VCS game online. ’nuff said.
A collection of re-imagined, browser-based Atari classic games with a very polished presentation. This is a collaboration between Atari and Microsoft, so while it is free, there are some ham-fisted tie-ins to Microsoft’s brand of touch screen devices and Internet Explorer browser. Also, these are re-dos of the original games, with updated play mechanics and graphics, so don’t expect an authentic retro game experience. Still, the games are well-done and a lot of fun.
A nice, simple site…who’s coverage of the Atari scene is anything but simplistic. A wealth of information, FAQs, news articles, game reviews, and other pages from the book of Atari.
Graphically heavy, and pretty loaded down with great information too. Has the goods on Atari coin-ops, home systems, computers, and other miscellaneous equipment that fell through the cracks. AND game articles AND game reviews AND editorials AND news AND blah blah blah…just go there, okay?
A whopping repository of scans of various magazines dedicated to Atari computer and video game systems, all in downloadable PDF format.
Exhaustive study of the company and its many products, with a seal of approval by founder Nolan Bushnell himself.
A geek’s guide to the VCS. If all you know is you put the cartridge in the slot and turn it on and it runs, and that’s ALL you want to know, then don’t click on the above link. A highly technical, but still fascinating, look under the plastic hood.
2600 Doom is probably one of the greatest hoaxes ever pulled off in classic gaming, and this is the site that gives you the rundown, including screenshots of the “game”. Since this was a Geocities site, it went down when they did, but I’m linking to an archived version of the original site; just don’t be alarmed if you start hearing voices while visiting there.
After Nolan Bushnell left Atari, the company he founded in 1972, he formed a number of startup technology companies in a bid to capture “lightning in a bottle” in the same way he did with video games. Bushnell particularly seemed to think that the world was ready for household robotics, and he tried to bring mass-produced robots into the home via two seperate companies. One of these was Axlon, makers of the Petster, a robotic pet. Here, X-Entertainment shines its cracked spotlight on Bushnell’s attempt to mechanize Fluffy.
A complete look into the development of the first popular videogame, both in the arcade and the mass of dedicated home games. Includes plenty of great information and images.
A well-done music video directed by Keith Schofield, that chronicles the E.T. cartridge midnight burial by Atari.
This is the home of the Blue Sky Rangers, anonymous Intellivision programmers no longer! Ground zero for all things Intellivision, including plenty of Inty emulation products across a wide swath of modern platforms, as well as various Intellivision related multimedia.
Exhaustive coverage of the Intellivision.
A visually arresting site featuring a wide breadth of ColecoVision related artwork, scanned articles and more.
This site provides a breakdown of the various AdamCons that have been held over the years, lists of suppliers, and other great stuff.
This is a good site dealing with the sale and service of ColecoVisions and ADAMs, along with other classic consoles. But try and not get vertigo from their brain-busting design and colour scheme.
Mama Mia! A huge, hilarious collection of Mario-related flash animation shorts. My favourite might just be Mario Twins, even the guys doing the voices and “music” can’t keep a straight face.
The official home of Mother N. You needed me to tell you this link?
Never has the struggle of the pixelated proletariat been so succinctly exposed. It’s about time somebody used the words Nietzsche and Koopa in the same paragraph.
X-Entertainment is great, and they deserve a medal for all the lousy pop-culture they expose themselves to, in order to remind us that the “good old days” were not always all that good. The skewering they give an episode of the Super Show! is no exception.
Heavily commercialized with a slightly clunky design, but still offers quite a bit of interesting content. Highlights include a cheat archive, images from game endings, and an archive of transcribed game manuals.
Be very careful about downloading from this FTP site. Playing the tonnes of emulator-ready classic Commodore 64 game images found here has been known to cause sleep loss, diminished appetite, irritation with bothersome loved ones, and an overwhelming sense of amazed nostalgia. You have been warned.
I like this site, with it’s huge, searchable archive of C-64 games each accompanied by a handy screenshot.
A discussion forum offering help for games and hardware across multiple platforms.
A very well designed launching point of C64 information.
Awesome is the only way to describe Kim Lemon’s C-64 disk image repository. Straightforward web design combines with a huge assortment of downloadable games accompanied by screenshots and reviews. This may be a personal thing, but the highlight for me was downloading the C-64 cartridge game International Soccer. Running all the way down the field with the ball bouncing perfectly on my head while the CPU guys bounce harmlessly off me in a vain attempt to disrupt this repeal of the laws of physics…nostalgia factor of about 6 million. Heh.
Eccentric is a word that springs to mind. To understand exactly how much, all you need to know is that Yak, aka Jeff Minter, wrote the world’s first (and only, I would think) videogame based on the premise of mowing the lawn. Along with Hovver Bovver , Yak wrote a whole bunch of other great games for the C64, quite a few of them dealing with his burning, life-long obsession…Llamas. The dromedary, not the Latino actor. Hence the name of his software company…Llamasoft. His site is a great stream-of-consciousness acid trip, along with some very nice reviews of the best of classic videogaming. Plus, anyone that considers Roger Waters a god is perfectly sane in my book.
Are you like me, and always wanted to read the original M.U.L.E. manual, just to see if you actually had missed some documented subtle nuance of playing the game? Well, now you can, with this incredible project of providing the text of every original Commodore 64 program manual available online.
FAQ on the classic.
Arcade game development house, co-founded by Defender creator Eugene Jarvis in 2001. Raw Thrills has met with solid success, producing such hits as Big Buck Hunter Pro (2006), several games based on the The Fast and the Furious film franchise (2006 – 2007), and a tie-in shooter for Terminator Salvation(2010). The website details all of the hi-octane coin-op games that Jarvis and company are producing these days.
Tilt is a fascinating documentary about pinball giant Williams’ last ditch attempt to save its pinball division, and perhaps by extension the industry itself. It is the story of Pinball 2000, a revolutionary video/pinball hybrid system designed in 1999 at a breakneck pace by the company’s brightest design stars, who are under an ultimatum by top brass: either build something insanely great and new, or have your department closed forever. The documentary itself is wonderfully put together with a fun graphical flare, along with extensive interviews of those involved. It also features a history of pinball and the Williams company that will be of interest to electronic game buffs. And it also provides a nail-biting ride up the chutes and down the wells of pinball’s last great hope.
Here is what’s left of the once-great pinball division of Williams/Bally. WMS produces hopped-up gambling machines.
All of the technical information on Williams and lots of other arcade games that a sane person could ever desire. Game breakdowns, game manuals, restoration walk-throughs and plenty more!
Out of print, but the link leads to a few preview frames where you can check out the great artwork of this comic book series.
hese people sell the Dragon’s Lair series of games across a wide breadth of platforms, and their products are commonly hailed as the best home versions of the games available. They also sell Tender Loving Care, an unusual FMV game where your answers to psychological questions dictate the outcomes. Plus they also offer Dyer’s epic Shadoan adventures.
There sure isn’t a lack of brilliant sites dedicated to arcading’s premiere laserdisc game. Dragon’s Lair was one of those rare videogames to spawn a massive merchandising blitz, and many of the products are featured here right here along with many great images. It also sports lots of original DL sketch work, and scans of the spin-off games.
Further adventures of Dirk and Co., by Andy Mangels. Looks very cool!
Jeff Kinder’s massive website is a truly indispensable resource for anyone even remotely interested in laserdisc games and their history. It has extensive information, images, audio and even movie files for practically every laserdisc game of the era. This should be your first stop in investigating these strange creatures of the arcade.
More DL goodness, but the history section does seem to under a constant state of “coming soon” The website does, however, feature a great page profiling the many versions of the Lair that have come along over the years, including lots of images and information.
Informative look at what happened to the arcade’s great light hope.
An expansive FAQ, detailing the processes of bringing a laser game back from the brink. Invaluable information for any collector/refurbisher.
An unofficial homepage, featuring a wealth of information on the company. From its early vector days to the groundbreaking laser efforts.
I’ll throw this under the Laser Game section because laser games were the first FMV games. This site is a comprehensive index of all the myriad FMV games released, good or (mostly) bad.
Pretty exhausting run-down on all things Lupin, star of laser game Cliff Hanger.
This site uncovers the checkered past of Cliff Hanger, aka Lupin III. Full of fascinating information on his creator, and his creation.
Find yourself space on a pew pew and start worshipping the King of Koins. You won’t be nodding off during this sermon though, as it’s a hilarious look at The Great Yellow One. My two personal favourites from the page: the organ intro music (used to be able to click a link to hear it; maybe you can try poking around this site’s “Early Internet” design style and find it yourself) and the informative “Anatomy of Pac-Man”.
A really invaluable index of places you can still go and drop a quarter into an arcade game. Browse by game, arcade and get Google Maps to the locations to boot.
Warner Bros. picked up the ashes of Midway, to be incorporated into their Warner Bros. Interactive label. Midway themselves had kept the ashes of Atari Games in a DigDug shaped urn, obtained in liquidation a few years back. So this link points to WB. My original description: I’m not sure why so many game companies feel the need to try to cram graphics-crazy sites down our modems’ throats, but they do. Like Midway, with their fun to navigate but endlessly loading website. No real company history available, but they sure do give full coverage to their current offerings in the arcade and home. You can also find Atari Games here, and see what’s left of the coin-op division of this once industry vanguard.
Birthplace of Galaxian and Pac-Man, among others. This is the hub for the english arms of the company
Dress up like your favourite yellow video game hero on halloween and you’ll be gobbling up ALL the candy!
Complete coverage of the game that pretty much launched videogaming into popular culture (after PONG created the industry). A treasure-trove of information.
An amazing lego recreation of Flynn’s arcade, from the groundbreaking 1982 videogame culture film Tron. How did Joel Baker build it? It’s all in the wrist.
Selling and Collecting
A&C Games is a terrific retro games store in Toronto, run by a crew who really care about the classic game scene. So much so, in fact, that next to their retail store they opened up A&C World, where for a 5 dollar fee you can play an assortment of classic consoles to your heart’s content. It’s worth a visit for anyone into the games of yore.
This is the latest working archive of Andrew Krieg’s indispensable lists of video game software, preserved on the Internet Archive. Here is my original blurb for the site:
As far as I’ve seen, the largest collection of classic videogame cartridge and CD lists on the net. The lists are recent and include manufacturers, year of release, rarity ratings and catalog number.
This is simply one incredible repository for info on refurbishing classic arcade games, with step by step walkthroughs and tutorials, conversion help, priceless hints and tips, and tonnes of images to illustrate the process.
Phat page full of links, graphics, technical info and other good stuff.
A great service for winning eBay auctions through ebay sniping. Also works on other auction sites, and offers plenty of options. They offer a free 15-day trial, reasonable subscription rates and one-off auction credits.
It’s called the Computer Closet collection, but they also have a large videogame section, chock full of good photos of all the major classic consoles and their various cartridges and attachments.
Some people scale mountains, some dive deep into the underwater world. And some people stuff their basement full of arcade games. Here’s one of the latter, with his incredible collection online for all to see. It’s so huge, he actually had a city offical come and almost close it down, because he was violating ordinance codes! Luckily, that all got cleared up, he probably got the little Venture dude Winky to put an arrow in that pencil-pusher’s neck. I could go to this site and play with my pointer all day.
Formerly Old School Gamer. If you have an old and busted videogame console kicking around, make it the new hotness with these guys. They repair and upgrade practically any system, and are located in Edmonton, Alberta.
Everything the collector and/or restorer needs to help bring those classic beauties back to working life.
Classic games for sale or trade, along with plenty of ancillory information. The highlight for me is the large library of scans of the Mylar overlays used with systems such as the Vectrex, ColecoVision and Intellivision. All categorized and ready for viewing. There’s lots of other great stuff on this site too, such as a FAQ list for classic games and complete text reproductions of game manuals.
A great, great big list of adventure games for every platform, from every company, for every gaming aficionado.
Apolyton used to be a pretty expansive website dedicated to Sid Meier’s vaunted Civilization turn-based strategy games, but now appears to only house a discussion forum for the topic. Still, though, they’re pretty nice blokes over there, so it’s worth a visit to get your Civ fix. My original blurb for the site: How much more information on Game God Sid Meier’s PC strategy games could you possibly stomach? There’s quite a bit of general info on turn-based strategy games as a whole, as well as a deep focus on the Civilization games.
Gateway to the Ultima universe. Features image gallery, Ultima history, chat room, file downloads and more.
The Civilization series of turn-based strategy games needs no introduction, but damn it, here’s one anyway. Commonly regarded as some of the greatest computer games ever produced, they and their illustrious creator Sid Meier and his long-time programmer Brian Reynolds have risen to the top of the field, and if not created the genre, then masterfully re-worked and re-formed it into crack-like addiction for strategy gamers across the world. As fellow Game God Will Wright has gotten closer and closer to approximating and enhancing the mundane living of life with his SIM series, Meier’s Civ games, including the awesomely ground-breaking Alpha Centauri, have allowed armchair Napoleons to come the closest they can ever get to personally fighting the sweeping battles of past empires and future societies. They transcend the limitations of simulated battle and empire-building in the confines of a computer to become something of wit, intelligence, complexity and above all, fun. The games have constantly evolved to improve different aspects of the game, and have moved on from the PC to mobile platforms and even a Facebook game. This site is the official web presence for the series.
Nicely put-together look at the original text Adventure by Crowther and Woods. Just remember to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind you.
A poor man’s Dragon’s Lair. Really, this is too clever for words. Lead on, Adventurer, and all that jazz…
When I first posted this blurb, listing the official EA site also took care of Janes, Origin, Bullfrog, Maxis and Westwood. These companies, makers of some of the greatest computer games in various genres, have since been dismantled by EA, and their most interesting game projects discontinued. Nice one, EA.
Your complete reference guide to the Great Underground Empire. Now you’ll never have to use the excuse “A Grue ate my homework!”.
An amazing amount of information on the videogame industry. If you are looking to enter the field THIS is the first stop on your journey. Articles on design, news on the state of the industry, resume database, events calender, lots more.
This is an online port of the original Hunt the Wumpus to Inform, a text adventure emulator.
Go to this site if you dare! If you’re like me, you played the dickens out of this puppy but never actually broke this classic C-64 game’s back, as its puzzle component is commonly regarded as the hardest game ever conceived. This is a complete breakdown of how to beat the game, complete with descriptions of all the rooms, how to solve the damned puzzle, and how to actually find Atombender.
The launching point for all things Infocom, computer game pioneers. Includes available downloads of the original three Zorks for the PC.
A superlative collection of images, information, emulators and disk images concerning the Tandy computer classics.
Incredible, ongoing database of classic (and recent) computer games, along with lots of box cover images, screen shots, technical info, and interesting trivia tid-bits. Add your own entries, rate the games that are there, read informative articles, and enjoy.
Your catalogue for the plethora of Multi User Dungeons that exist on the net. This is still a thriving gaming scene on the Internet, and this is how you find ‘em. Not only provides a list, but reviews as well.
Can you prevent a diabolical scheme to rule the world with Smurfs? Dear God, I hope so!!! Check out this hilarious Apple II disk image, playable with an Apple II emulator. If you haven’t figured it out already, it’s a parody of the classic Castle Wolfenstein. Also available from Dead Smurf Software…Dino Smurfs.
Great resource for PC retro-computing. Offers guides to running old software, classic computer shrines, an article archive and more.
Homepage for the co-creator of the original Multi User Dungeon. Gives a very nice insider’s history of MUD, and all of the versions thereof.
Roger Wilco: lover of women, fighter of intergalactic evil, mopper of floors. Get the goods on computer gamedom’s coolest custodial engineer, star of Sierra’s popular Space Quest adventure game series, at this definitive site.
Lots of great stuff here to be had at S.A.G.A.. What more would you expect from the author of the first microcomputer text adventure?
An enormous tribute page to one of the greatest multiplayer games ever created. UPDATE: This links to a launch page to the site’s new home, but that appears to be down, they say temporarily. I’ll leave this up then, until someone complains or the site goes back up at their “new” digs.
Browsing around for free fonts in this directory just feels right. The visual way it presents its wares really makes it easy to quickly home in on the right typestyle. You can also customize the sample text, which greatly aids in helping you decide.
Ever see a font and wonder what it’s called? Here’s your solution.
Home of the HTML editor.
Other Entertainments: Films
A great repository of links, articles wallpaper and other goodies pertaining to Kubrick’s landmark SF extravaganza.
In this ever-changing world in which we live in, it’s nice that Internet cultural touchstones such as AICN remain, with a layout slightly refined from Harry Knowles’ original “throw all the text up in a huge block in all capital letters and plenty of typos and exclamation marks!!!” motif. The remaining capital letters and exclamation marks and ridiculous run-on sentences that unspool with nary a hint of punctuation less the pure unadulterated exuberance be even slightly dimmed by the heavy hand of an unfeeling editor let me know that the world hasn’t changed all that much. Still a great source of information for genre film fans.
John Greenleaf Whittier once wrote, “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’”. Here is what might have been: A version of Alien III by famed Neuromancer author William Gibson, commissioned, then rejected, by 20th Century Fox. Then just pretend with all your might that they went with this one instead of the crushing disappointment we ended up with.
With a title like that, you can make a fairly safe bet that the site isn’t reviewing Christian movies. And you’d be right, its focus is genre flicks, with a major in horror films. Funny, entertaining and yes, even informative.
What else is the Net good for, if not sites with fascinating text interspersed with random, but somehow fitting, images? Too bad the Web is littered with these pesky sites that focus on brilliant content over slick, ultimately empty commercial flash! How is a burgeoning information delivery system to support its own bloated, meaningless excess? Now. Where was I? Oh yeah, this is a cool movie review site. UPDATE: the original link has gone down with the demise of Geocities, but here is an archived version; as far as I can see, the links to the reviews still work.
My original blurb, describing Atom:
An invaluable repository for some of the world’s greatest short films, offering dozens and dozens of choices available for streaming download. Features both animated and live-action fare, most under ten minutes, and spotlights such brilliant filmmakers as Bill Plympton, he of the undisputed animated classic 25 Ways to Quit Smoking.
The site is now run by the U.S. cable channel Comedy Central and called CC:Studios, there is still a collection of shorts, but much less Bill Plympton.
Cinematic Happenings Under Development rapidly supplanted Dark Horizons and Harry Knowles’ Aint it Cool News as the site du jour for advance word on what’s coming soon to a theatre near you. Plus, unlike AICN, this site is tightly designed, presented with polish and well-written. Nothing against Knowles, his fanboy drooling was a refreshing change from empty studio-sponsored commercial review sites. CHUD displays excitement and anticipation for its wares, sure, but it doesn’t jump over that line into rabid fanboydom.
Saw The Matrix, and thought “Hell, I can write a better script than that!”? Well, good luck to ya, buddy! But for anyone else who might want see some examples of the craft, check out this large list of links to movie screenplays online. Has tonnes of TV script links too.
This link used to be a joke, a pointer to the official webpage for the movie where all it had was the name of the movie and “Coming Soon” shown. Now it merely forwards to the WBSHOP.com page for purchasing the Stanley Kubrick Masterpiece collection, but perhaps you’d like to purchase the set. I’m sure Cruise and Kidman now being long divorced, it adds another weird layer to Eyes Wide Shut. My original blurb:
All the behind the scenes info and plot rumours that reclusive director Stanley Kubrick usually allowed to escape from his sets.
Started by a bunch of students as a giant text database, now a vibrant source of online filmography info. Covers just a bit over a metric tonne of movie info. This site is the sole reason I jumped through hoops back in the early 90′s to get on the Internet.
A ginormous movie script site, with a breathtakingly familiar name.
As far as I’m concerned, the best bad movie site on the net. Because it has a great sense of picking out the very best of the very worst flicks, and provides lengthy, and hilarious, tirades on them. The first review I read here was for the 1982 Barry Bostwick vehicle MegaForce, which provides ample evidence that we were lucky as a species to come out of the eighties alive.
Another incredible genre movie site, formerly the online companion to the great Cinescape; serving up early news, reviews and pictures to peruse. UPDATE: [ARCHIVED!]
From The Abyss to Zorro, Cranky hates them all. Christ, the guy even pans Star Wars! Then again, I don’t know who’s crazier…Mr. Cranky, or the gang of misfits who regularly post in his message boards. UPDATE: site now requests authorization to the webserver. Archived.
Monty Python done in Lego, anybody? Anybody?
As the title says, a collection of genre movie reviews. Well thought-out, entertaining reads that, with their honesty and insight, put most commercial movie reviewers to shame .
This really has to be one of the more thorough, and well put-together, movie review sites on the net. It offers the most reviews for every new release, usually around 100 or so for the big movies, even though you probably don’t really care what the Cleveland Plains-Dealer or St. Paul Pioneer Press thinks. Even with this sometimes baffling amount of information, everything is categorized and shrunk down to easy-to-digest statistics. I especially like their system of culling all of the advance internet buzz from sites like Ain’t It Cool News and Dark Horizons, to give you a pretty good signpost of an upcoming movie’s quality.
A simply great SF movie review site, sporting hundreds of concise, honest reviews of both classics and more recent fare.
No guff, right? Contains an amazing amount of behind-the-scenes info on the making of the new trilogy set. Has info not just on the new movies, but the books, games, comics, and the original films. Get here and get excited.
Where movie reviews meet mathematics. Films are graded by category, wherein points are subsequently awarded or subtracted to the total according to reviewer reactions to other aspects of the movie. Contributed to by yours truly.
Awesome fansite, which tracks news on the new prequels and other Star Warsian info like a Corellian Swamp Hound. It’s also the home of Troops, an incredible and hilarious SW parody video melding TV reality show Cops with Imperial Stormtroopers.
Exhaustive study of Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A giant compilation of all those “What ever happened to…” former celebrities.
Terrific site dedicated to the great Alien movie series. Now if only an angry xenomorph would jump out of the storage locker and eat those goddamn Tripod pop-ups.
I heard a couple years back about this project, and I was looking forward to seeing it make it to the theatres, being a huge fan of the gothic comic series by the great Neil Gaiman. Seems the project is in turnaround now, though, as this script approved by Gaiman himself has been rejected by Warner Brothers. Oh well, we can at least read what it was gonna be like.
Other Entertainments: Books
What can I say, it’s the biggest bookstore on Earth. This is what all web-based commerce should be like: in-depth, interesting and interactive.
Compelling stuff. Bible chapters illustrated through Lego. Very clever in its design and execution. It’s a very palatable way of reading the bible, if you’re so inclined.
Who knows why I feel the need to add links pertaining to MAD magazine. Probably it’s because I was a voracious reader of the rag growing up, and it helped me form the hard, cynical shell I’ve carefully constructed around my personality over the years, allowing the boiling magma of my hatred towards the world to remain undetected before the time comes to lay my vengeance upon society. Er, anyway, this site features a cornucopia of MAD paraphernalia, including an amazing Pre-Mad section that shows just how prevalent the image of the nameless idiot was in various forms before being adopted by the MAD creators and dubbed “Alfred E. Neuman”.
The official website of the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the greatest book ever come out of the great publishing companies of Ursa Minor. Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike getting smashed in the head by a lemon wrapped around a gold brick. Adams was rudely taken from us in 2001. So long Doug, and thanks for all the laughs.
Lots of information here about one of our greatest living writers, and about all the stories that have made him so. The highlight of the site, for me anyway, are the character indexes for every book. [ARCHIVED]
And I thought MY site had a goofy name. However, this was the end-all and be-all of Terry Pratchett sites on the web. He’s author of the great Discworld fantasy novels…think J.R. Tolkein meets Douglas Adams. Too good to lose, the link now points to the static, Internet Archive cached version of the site.
Great fansite of the great literary cynicist, in my opinion the finest writer who ever lived. Features some terrific images from the author’s life, as well as the Kilgore Trout Sci-Fi Collection, containing both original and amateur Trout stories (including the chance to submit your own). While you’re there, click on the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum, which will whisk you away to some other awesome Vonnegut sites, including a new middle-name generator a la Slapstick. Tell them William Muskellunge-14 Hunter sent you. From the ashes of Geocities, the link now points to the static, archived version of the site at oocities.
Up to The Dark Half, StephenKing wrote some of my favourite books. After that he lost it for me…until he got back on track with Bag of Bones, released in 1998. This is King’s ‘official’ site, having evolved from barely above advertising propaganda, with a very succinct bio written in part by his wife Tabitha as well as a lot of goofily posed portraits of King, who let’s face it…looks pretty goofy already. It has become a terrific source of information on King and his endless torrent of output.
Other Entertainments: TV
Over a thousand videos ready to view. Some are not the best quality, as the whole collection seems to have been videotaped off TV back when MTV actually played videos, and that was a LONG time ago. It’s great to see some of this stuff again… and some of it I wish could have stayed buried.
Formerly called AdCritic, this site is now part of Advertising Age magazine’s online presence. It still remains a repository of TV commercials offered up for viewing. If people are talking about some new TV advertisement, then this is where to go to see it and some context around it. This link now goes to their Creativity search page, allowing you to browse all the ads on their site.
A marvellous site covering a wide breadth of info on classic TV shows of yore.
A web classic! Remember the PSAs at the end of the G.I. Joe cartoon series during the 80′s? Well, a crew with a lot of time on their hands and a twisted sense of humour redubbed them all into madness. My favourite is still PSA13, but they’re all surreally hilarious.
Dedicated to one of the greatest TV programs ever created.
Great site saluting a great cartoon show, produced by animation pariah John Kricfalusi for a glorious four years on Nickelodeon before they muscled him out. Everything you could ever stomach about the show, its making and unmaking, and the twisted freaks responsible for it.
If both Goofy and Pluto are dogs, why does Goofy walk erect and wear clothes and live in a house and drive a car and hold a job and all that, while Pluto is consigned to living in a doghouse in his role as Mickey’s mute, slobbering canine lackey? This site covers both film and TV animation as it ponders the really BIG questions. [ARCHIVED]
NBC canned their best TV show after 7 seasons, but the excellent Homicide.com website remains, here forever filed in the Cold Case department at the Internet Archive. Not all the links still work, but enough do to keep it a very interesting corpse to pick over. It lives up to its namesake, fulfilling the promise of TV and Internet convergence. Do yourself a favour and catch the Homicide re-runs on TV. And be aware that NBC committed to bringing back the cast, including members from the early days, for a series of Homicide TV movies.
Plenty of multimedia hi-jinks highlight this smeggin’ good page, covering the great British comedy SF series Red Dwarf. Includes many Java games, an online 3D graphical adventure game, episode guide and character bios, latest news on the series and downloadable scripts. More satisfying than a chicken chutney curry vindaloo!
Conducted a few months before he died in 1975, this transcript of an interview with Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling by Linda Brevelle is compelling, eerily precognative and a wonderful glimpse into the attitudes of a man humbled by years in the TV grist mill. It is a fitting epitaph to a great man.
Submitted for your approval: one frighteningly good study of Mr. Serling’s second anthology TV series. While it started off as a worthy successor to his fantastic “Twilight Zone”, under pressure from NBC and series producer Jack Laird it rapidly degenerated into a lurid pot-boiler mish-mash. This site covers its entire devolution, offering plenty of sound and images. This IS the Night Gallery.
This online version of the official Mystery Science Theatre 3000 newsletter has plenty of offer, and is just as obsessed with grade Z movie information as its televised brethren. While it pretty much eschews the humour the show is known for, its serious approach to the subject matter makes it all the more frightening…er, I mean informative. It also offers what has to be the most complete history of the show ever created.
Spin is a documentary made in the mid 90′s by Brian Springer. Featuring captured live video feeds off satellite collected over the course of a year, this is a fascinating and telling exposure of what transpires behind the scenes of TV news.
Can I be…of…assistance? This is the greatest Canadian science-fiction television series ever produced. Which isn’t saying much.
The link points to a wonderful fan site for the 1973 TV show, which was as ill-fated as its protagonists. They are wandering a giant space ship full of different biospheres, locked on a collision course with a star. What started out as the next great SF show after the original Star Trek series went off the air rapidly devolved into a zero-budget exercise that featured many shots of actors standing in front of chroma-key screens. The high-profile SF personnel involved in the creation of The Starlost, including Harlan Ellison, Ben Bova and Douglas Trumbull did attract some familiar acting talent. [ARCHIVED]
It’s hard to believe, but when I originally made this link there was no Google or YouTube. Nowadays, you can watch the whole 16-episode series on YouTube, starting with the first episode. If you care for more pristine versions of the shows, the series is collected in a DVD box set.
A Flickr photostream of hilarious Star Trek riffs on those much-maligned inspirational posters.
A scary big repository for sound files related to the works of Serling. Not only “Twilight Zone”, but his various television plays and movies, with interviews as well.
A website as entertaining as its subject matter, all things releating to the boob tube.
A dauntingly large archive of streaming TV show intros, from the early years of TV to current shows. A time-killing nostalgia trip.
Looking for a site that profiles a wonderfully eclectic collection of classic TV moments, available for viewing through Real Player? You found it!
Another great nostalgia site, giving you info and images on all of the great and cheesy cartoon shows you gobbled Sugar Frosted Sugar Bombs in front of as a kid on Saturday mornings. It pains me to have to note that Yesterdayland eventually went defunct. Above is the last good archive at the Internet Archive. I’d like to insert a slight editorial in here, and wonder how the heck this site didn’t prosper. It was a dynamite site, with terrific web design, and if you check out the list of celebrities they were able to interview (not sure if the video links are still working) about the pop-culture they loved as a kid, you wonder how they didn’t have enough pull to keep the site going. The owners of the original Yesterdayland have since opened up the nostalgia site Retroland, described in our Retro Scene Coverage links section.
Other Entertainments: Music
The online encyclopaedia of music. Endlessly fascinating to read through, and eternally useful when you’re looking for the discography of that particular band or artist.
When you get to heaven, and are ushered into God’s office to be welcomed, music from Pink Floyd will be what’s drifting out of his stereo speakers. While trapped in the bounds of Earth, however, you can click to Floydian Slip and find everything you need to know about the greatest rock band ever.
Streaming videogame music 24/7, 365. I’m listening to the Magical Sound Shower right now! Do a search on 365 for “video games” and you’ll find dozens of other similar channels too.
An excerpt from the Syd Barrett biography “Lost in the Woods”, by Julian Palacios
An off-shoot of the Music Genome Project, Pandora is a neat little online system that will stream musical content to you for free, based on any ratings you provide on the songs played. What’s really cool is that the genome part refers to the method of taking songs and breaking them down down by their “DNA” – distinct musical traits that allow for very precise matching of similar songs. Try it!
Other Entertainments: Theme Parks
To me, there’s nothing more spooky than an abandoned amusement park. Brightly designed concession stands and towering rollercoasters that were once the Mecca of scores of eager tourists, now gone to weeds and cracked asphalt, their buildings collapsed under the weight of years of neglect. They seem like forgotten Gods to me, once commanding the respect and awe of worshippers, now tossed aside like a used candy-floss cone. It also helps the ominous atmosphere of some of these places that probably every major amusement park has a death or two in its history. This site is an excellent index of these burial grounds for lost fun and magic.
Everyone in the world turns into a happy child the moment that they enter a theme park. [ARCHIVED]
Theme parks are like videogames made flesh. Which is a pretty strained segue, I know, but what the heck! It’s my page, and if I want links to theme park information I’ll damn well put them up! Heh. Anyway, after succumbing to the crack cocaine that is RollerCoaster Tycoon, I decided to bookmark some interesting links on the subject. Most have to do with Disney right now, but they are not Disney Company sites, and more on other park makers will probably be added. This particular site features an inordinate amount of information on Walt Disney World, including ride test video, an exhaustive history, and other things mouse related.
I’ve never been to Disneyland, only Walt Disney World. So I don’t have the same intense connection with this site, but it’s still a completely entertaining review of attractions lost.
As a dealer in nostalgia, most of my favourite theme park sites have to do with discontinued attractions at Disney, and this site is no exception. I believe it started out as a site dedicated to that perennial freebie “If You Had Wings”, you know, the one with the blue moving seats and the deformed globe that would swallow you? It has since blossomed into an endlessly interesting study of other dead attractions at WDW, with great pictures and terrific narration. Just like seeing a picture of the original videogame Odyssey sparks waves of nostalgia, so did seeing snaps like the original RCA Space Mountain instil in me the same reaction.
This quarterly magazine always makes for great reading when each issue finally arrives at the newsstand. It’s a scathing indictment of the insipid advertising industry, published independently in Vancouver and without external advertising (although it’s sprinkled liberally with its own spoof ads, such as the classic “Joe Chemo” campaign). The website is a simple archive of past essays, a collection of their spoof ad images, and other information to arm you against idiotic, careless advertising.
A knowing look back at the decade that was. Gone, but not forgotten on the Internet Archive.
Here lies a wealth of evidence asserting that the Apollo moon-landings were faked, committed by the United States government in order to desperately make a giant leap ahead of the galloping Soviet space program in the Space Race, and continue to have the daring exploits of NASA draw attention away from the growing bloodshed and ideological folly of the Vietnam war. This page exhaustively breaks down the photographic evidence and at the end one is left asking: Were the Apollo moon-landings the greatest television series ever perpetrated?
A counter-point to the idea of a moon-shot hoax, which provides photographic experiments which purports to explain the anomalies conspiracy theorists have put forth regarding the official NASA photos and movies from the moon. Hardly a scientific study, but still provides viable arguments against a conspiracy. I also recommend you check out www.badastronomy.com, the main host for this page.
A now-defunct radio telescope the size of three football fields, “Big Ear” in Ohio was where the “Wow!” signal was received from space by volunteer Jerry Ehman on Aug. 15, 1977. Given the name from the excited one-word sum-up of the signal’s impressive strength scribbled in the margin of the computer read-outs by Ehman, it remains the most promising SETI recording in the history of the program. Although the veracity of the “Wow!” signal has, of course, been questioned by the obligatory sceptics out to prove we’re alone in the vast Cosmic maelstrom, judge for yourself at this monument to one of Astronomy’s greatest moments.
An extremely polite look at the Canadian experience. Now with 50 percent more poutine.
The CANadian Online Explorer. The launching point for all news Canuck.
Jack T. Chick’s cartoons have become world famous (some would say infamous), mainly due to the fact that they are the most surreal, religiously reactionary comic strips you’ll ever read. Of course, how could 500 million saved souls be wrong? Chick’s site offers an archive of complete strips online, so revel in their bible-thumping, fire-and-brimstone zealotry.
A groovy, solid and right on collection of 70′s media files, from TV themes to commercial ads to record clips and much more.
You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger, more informative and entertaining listing of comic book characters, across multiple mediums, from The Yellow Kid to Dilbert and back again. Prepare to spends hours browsing.
A very funny web comic dealing with classic video gaming.
A repository of letters of contempt.
Does just what it says, allows you to find sound files on the net, with a nicely implimented search engine that includes a small sound histogram with every hit. The above link points to the catalog page of the site.
Spend an hour or so on any Internet forums or chats for any amount of time, you’ll recognize these jokers immediately. And in some cases, it’s like suddenly seeing your own reflection in the monitor screen. Hilarious.
An addictive site, that displays items found and submitted by people. The very definition of miscellany.
I love this site. It was one of the first sites I stumbled upon when I joined this cocophany we call the IntarWeb, and its design had me believing that THIS is the FUTURE OF THE WEB!!! 1000 hollow, meaningless, corporate webshites later and my spirit is properly crushed. This site makes me think of electrical synapses fireing neurons through the dopamine. I’ll leave this blurb with a description that I used when I emailed the author of this brilliant, seemingly random but actually interconnected encyclopedia: “I think that if Tim Berners-Lee had smoked a big fattie and then fossilized his original concept of the World Wide Web in amber, if we cracked that amber open today we’d find your site. Or maybe if Berners-Lee and Ted Nelson had both have strolled into the same telepod and had their molecules spliced together.”
This is cool. It’s a simple flight sim game based around the satellite image database from Google Maps. It’s really incredible what people are coming up with around Google Earth and Google maps, it’s a towering testament to open source development.
A hilarious antidote to the unrelenting zealotry of the aforementioned official Chick website. It’s not particularly subtle, but then, neither is its inspiration.
Got US$2.3 million burning a hole in your pocket? Worried about the final collapse of modern civilization? Why not live in an authentic 1958 missile silo, complete with 22,000 square feet of cold war hominess? Be the envy of your friends as they’re pounding on the steel door when armaggedon comes a callin’. I seem to remember I linked this page in the early days of TDE, and they’re STILL trying to sell it? Are there no ultra-secretive, obsessively paranoid billionaires left in the world? I’m pretty sure this is the same site as I originally listed, a real-estate listing that subsequently disappeared. At any rate, it’s another Atlas Missile Base being rennovated into liveable space.
Man, you see an interesting site and click a few links, and soon you’re hours deep in bizarre concept, hilarious writing and brutal social satire. There is plenty to enjoy here, but I’ll single out the two things that first drew me in on this site.
A website for purchasing purely Canadian items.
A diabolical flash game. Sure, there’s a lot of flash games on the Web, but not so many as addictive as this. Simple and great.
If you’re like me, you open the weekend funny pages and read them with a mixture of disgust and disappointment at how a once vibrant and often hilarious art form has turned into a wasteland of banal and idiotic strips by no-talent hacks. Thanks to the blessed Internet, however, everyone can enjoy avante-guard comics like Red Meat, sporting 50′s nostalgia artwork undercut with a creeping subversiveness. Starkly funny.
What can I say about a 600+ page site that provides such invaluable services as indexing every “Mystery Spot” in North America, as well as exposing the horrible scandal of early U.S. canine film-star Rin-Tin-Tin (he’s buried in France!). Easily one of the most entertaining web stops around, and much less cheesy than the plethora of American road-side attractions it so lovingly profiles, with many online video tours and interviews (and clean bathroom facilities!).
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. This page and the accompanying links to other great articles in the archive will give you quick and fascinating studies of Mankind’s greatest adventure.
The electronic equivalent of the great British SF rag SFX, with everything you need to follow the genre in any media.
These guys dig up a ton of buried documents, police records, declassified papers, news clippings and other material to put out one of the more interesting informational sites on the Internet. Their archive of actual wacky U.S. patents are hilarious…the penis exerciser is a classic.
Ever hear the one about the guy who strapped a military missile to the top of his car to see how fast he could go? Or the guy who’s been stranded in a Paris airport for ten years? Or all that nasty obscene chicanery that goes on in the background of Disney films? Explode those myths (or indeed, have them validated) at this site, giving serious analysis of all those weird tales that if they aren’t true…well, they SHOULD be.
Idiotic name change aside (formerly called the much more respectable scifi.com), still a useful online arm of the U.S. science fiction cable channel SyFy with breaking news, TV episode guides and reviews, sponsored online chats, steaming audio and video features, blah blah blah yackety-shmackety, ect ect.
A rather startling searchable index of satellite images and aerial photographs, resolvable all the way down to 1.5 meters! I wrote this blurb in the days before Google (yes, there was such a desolate time), but this is still a great satellite imagery site.
I’m a cereal junkie. I could eat the stuff morning, noon and night 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year if I could get away with it. Not the Sugar Frosted Sugar Bombs either…I’m a purist. I like Shreddies, Wheatabix, Honey Nut Cheerios…sometimes I go hog-wild and buy a box of Honeycombs. If I want sugar on my cereal I’ll put it on my own damn self! And I definitely don’t want any of those chunks of Styrofoam cleverly marketed as ‘marshmallows’ added. So, grab yourself a bowl and surf this site…a huge list of breakfast cereals, both old and new, with box scan and product info. It’s greaaaaaaaaaaaat!
The how-to book on building with LEGO, by Allan Bedford.
I dunno, that’s a mouthful for a name. Needs to be something snappier if it’s gonna sell. How about Patent Sending! Or Patents R’ US! Invention Detection! At any rate, try spending hours looking up famous, or wacky, patents. What else is a geek supposed to do on a Saturday night?
An interesting idea for a site; track the migratory patterns of money, as people enter serial numbers and postal codes for various bills. There is also a U.S. counterpart called Where’s George?
Nicely put-together database of just that: Who’s still with us, and who’s shuffled off this mortal coil.