For Halloween night, let me point to the first game to terrorize parents over video game violence, Exidy’s 1976 Death Race.
In the game you drive a vehicle around a play field, chasing stick figures who flee randomly in all directions to avoid becoming a hood ornament. If and when you strike one, the victim screams and turns into a grave marker, complete with cross. If you have a buddy with you with a handy quarter, you can both mow down “gremlins”, as they were described in the game cabinet text, simultaneously.
Even though with 1976 black and white graphics things are barely sketched out for you, the game brought a firestorm of controversy, which only helped to increase sales for Exidy. They moved over 1,000 units of the game, their best-selling up to that point.
Some advice on romance for you from a retro video game historian: Find someone who looks at you the way this lady looks at the guy running the Aquarius Home Computer System, by Mattel Electronics.
On second thought, maybe don’t. She looks like she’s thinking about slitting his throat while he sleeps tonight, and whether she could completely bathe her naked body in the amount of blood that came out of him.
And another thing: this photo seems to prove just how unuseable the crap keyboard on the Aquarius was. Look at the man’s fingers, curled up like an old, arthritic witch in order to press on those tiny, rubbery chiclet-keys. The computer came with a built-in flavour of Microsoft BASIC, but can you imagine trying to program on that thing? 20 minutes and I’d be longing for release, as the pumping blood from my carotid artery splashed on my wife’s writhing body.
Also, the dude has a Mini Expander AND two memory packs, but hasn’t installed them into the computer? That means he’s stuck with the anemic 4K standard RAM in the Aquarius. Yes honey, you can bring the kitchen knife to bed tonight.