First, Our ThanksWe would like to issue our thanks to both Steven L Kent and to Jordan Freeman of Zoom Platform . Steven was willing to sit with us and discuss his books, and the history of video games for several hours. And Jordan was kind enough to connect us to Steven, and to help arrange the interview. We are grateful to both Steven and Jordan for their time and patience.
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This is part two
of a conversation with author and video game historian Steven L Kent, and is a collaboration between ourselves and Zoom Platform. Whilst this is an audio episode, it was originally recorded as a pair of video interviews. What we’ve done is cut the two video interviews into four parts and will be releasing them as audio episodes. But if you’d rather watch the first two parts as a video
as edited by Jay and Squidge
you’ll find an embedded player here:
Don’t forget to check out part one of the conversation, and all four parts of our interview with Steven can be found here.
Part Two of Four
As a reminder, Steven describes his books as
My books are called "The Ultimate History of Video Games".
Volume 1 starts out with Abraham Lincoln and Bagatelle, and goes all the way to 2000 and sort of the collapse of the Dreamcast - or it’s about to collapse, you can tell that it’s faltering - PlayStation 2 has been announced and is just coming out, and Xbox has been announced.
Book two has some overlap, because there will be some people who read volume 2 without reading volume 1, so it’s got a bunch of overlap. But what’s interesting is that I thought I’d be able to go from 2000 to the present, but I only got to 2012. So volume three should come out around 2026.
No discussion on video game history would be complete without a discussion on “the price heard” around the world. Which you can find here:
And for those who don’t know, there is a very long story behind the crowd reaction here. Essentially, the story is that Sega had just announced their Saturn (only a few hours earlier), which was a surprise to most of the retailers who were in attendance (because Sega hadn’t told them that it was being announced). Sega also announced it with a $399 price tag.
As such, Sony’s entire announcement of the PlayStation was simply
The following is a promo-spot for The Shrimp and Crits Podcast. Why not reach out today, if you’d like your promo included in a future episode of the podcast
Hey, sorry to interrupt your favorite podcast but I’m here to tell you about shrimp and crits an actual play podcast with a southern twist.
My name is Ian and I am the keeper for this show as we play Monster of the Week by Michael Sands. If you like the sound of swampy monster mayhem, gators gone shopping and magical fairy mischief you will be right at home in the remote Panhandle town of Gullacochica, Florida, where spooky danger has begun to wash ashore.
Shrimp and Crits is the story of Sarah Pain, the mundane
All I’m asking for his answers. That’s all I’m looking for is the truth
Ari Green, the searcher
You know the proclamations of the fae? I suggest you follow them from now on
And Ray Ray, the most mundane monstreess you will ever meet.
"Mr. Zeus, I’m a big fan. I knew you were, I knew you were real," And Ray Ray’s just like bowing in front of this swan
As they fumble their way through protecting their skeptical town from mysterious evils.
We release new episodes every other Monday on the pod catcher of your choice. I hope to see you soon in sunny Gullacochica.
Find out more at linktr.we/ShrimpandCrits or check the show notes for a link.
Virtua Boy & Gunpei Yokoi
Gunpei Yokoi really was an amazing engineer. He started Nintendo’s “responsible engineering” philosophy
the idea that they will use technology that is widely available now in order to innovate in non-traditional ways
And this is something that Nintendo has continued to do to this day. He was the designer of the Game&Watch, GameBoy, the “cross pad” controller, and the Metroid series.
Steven shared a wonderful story about Gunpei in this episode:
So I was at a CES - I was fairly new in the industry - and Virtual Boy had not come out yet. I was covering [Virtual Boy] for Electronic Games.
I went to Nintendo and I said, "I wanna meet all these people," in truth I clipped their names out of "Game Over" by David Sheff. I didn’t know this people. Nobody did, really. If it weren’t for Sheff, we might still not know them… [Nintendo] gave me some Miyamoto time.
But Gunpei Yokoi gave me an hour, two days in a row. And after that, if we were ever at a show and we would see each other, we’d go have a drink together. We couldn’t talk very much, because my Japanese is non-existant, and I’m not sure where his English was, but it wasn’t strong. But there was a bond, there was a real friendship.
I remember the last time I got to see him was at the unveiling of the N64 at Space World… and everyone ran to this one corner and looked at the N64, and near the exit as you left, there was a little ring of Virtual Boys and Gunpei was there with his translator. And as I was leaving to write my article about the N64, there’s Gunpei and he’s like, "Can you come take a look at things?" And he was my friend, so I went and looked at things, and it wasn’t wonderful. And nobody else was there, so we sat and talked, and his translator translated for me.
And that was the last time that I got to see him. And he was a wonderful gentleman: he was nice, he was smart, and he had a self-deprecating sense of humour. I think he already knew that he was leaving Nintendo at that point.
Our Zoom-Platform Game Suggestions
We’d love to suggest some of our favourite titles that are available on Zoom Platform
seeing as how they helped with putting this episode together
as such, here are some of our favourites:
|REKKR: Sunken Land - Super Digital Deluxe Edition||Postal 2: Your Mom’s Boxset|
|Rise of the Triad: Dark War: Extreme Edition||Empire Earth - Gold Edition|
|Zombie Shooter||Kao The Kangaroo: Complete Kaollection|
External Links of Interest
- Support us on Ko-Fi
- Our Facebook page
- Us on Twitter
- Steven on Penguin Random House
- Zoom Platform
- Our suggested titles from Zoom Platform’s catalogue:
- Part one of our conversation with Steven
Links to the music used in the podcast can be found below. Definitely check them out, because they're amazing tracks by awesome musicians.
- Intro music is Among The Stars, from the Cosmos Music Pack by Muz Station Productions
- Spoiler Break music is Spectrum (Subdiffusion Mix) by Foniqz (BandCamp)
- Pallet Cleanser music is Breath Deep Breath Clear (Wu Chi) by Siobhan Dakay
- Outro Music is I N e e d Y o u 私の側て by G.H (removed from BandCamp)
Games CoveredWe mentioned 19 games in this post. In the following order, those games where:
- Shark Attack
- Crash Bandicoot
- Super Mario 64
- Metal Gear Solid
- Hybrid Heaven
- Shadow Man
- Doom 64
- Goldeneye 007
- WCW vs nWo Revenge
- Wii Sports
- Mario Kart Wii
- Super Mario Sunshine
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
- Resident Evil (2002)
- Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes
- Phantasy Star Online
- Donkey Kong Country