The Obsolete Gamer Show: Rob McCallum (Box Art – A Gaming Documentary)


Remember when there was no internet or game demo’s to find out what a game was really like? Remember when box art was really, well, art? Something someone painstakingly created and often received little to no credit for?

We talk with Rob McCallum who’s Kickstarter, Box Art – A Gaming Documentary, explores the history of video game box art and the unsung artists responsible for those images many of us remember and enjoyed.

Last time Rob was on our show we talk about his other successful Kickstarter and gaming documentary, Nintendo Quest and this time he shares more insight into his new project and why you should back it. He also tells us about how he got into the film industry and what aspiring filmmakers can do to make it in the industry.

So check out the show, let us know what you think and visit the Kickstarter page as well as the films website.

Click here for the Box Art Kickstarter

Click here for the Box Art Website

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Tim McVey (Man vs. Snake)


This is why we love interviewing gamers. Imagine playing those hardcore classic games like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man and Centipede and dominating them. Tim McVey not only did that but was the first person to reach one billion points in the game Nibbler. His score and that game is the focus of the documentary film he is featured in called Man vs. Snake.

We talk with Tim about growing up in the arcades and playing at the original Twin Galaxies and what it was like being a gamer when one quarter would get most players a few minutes max on a game while they would often go for several hours.

More on Man vs Snake:

If you ever played the game “Snake” on your early model Nokia cellphone, then you’re familiar with “Nibbler,” the original “snake” game. MAN VS SNAKE tells the story of Tim McVey (the gamer not the bomber) who in 1984, on a single quarter (and over forty-four hours of non-stop play) was the first person in history to score over one billion points on a video game.

This historic accomplishment led the City of Ottumwa to declare a civic day in Tim’s honor (Tim McVey Day) and present him with the key to the city. Twenty-five-years later, when rumors of a higher score surface online, attributed to Italian kick-boxing champion Enrico Zanetti, it calls into question everything Tim McVey has believed for decades and forces him to make a decision: either set a new world record, or risk losing his legacy forever.

Now middle-aged and out of shape, Tim discovers that reclaiming the Nibbler title will not be easy. Packed with unexpected twists and turns, the film documents one of the epic achievements of the classic gaming era and proves a powerful tale of the triumph of the human spirit.

Check out the official website for Man vs. Snake: http://manvssnake.com/

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Jay Bartlett Show


Jay Bartlett the star of the upcoming retro gaming inspired documentary directed by Rob McCallum, Nintendo Quest, joins us on this fun and informative episode of The Obsolete Gamer show. We talk about his upcoming film, a little of what happened behind the scenes and his love of retro games and video game collecting.

Check out the official trailer for Nintendo Quest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4icM6GKmVM

Also check out our interview with director Rob McCallum – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQhlcw6ca3I

World 1-1 Review

World 1-1 Review

World 1-1 is an amazing video game history documentary movie created by the team made up of Jeanette Garcia and Daryl Rodriguez, two awesome, young but thorough movie makers from Miami. Although World 1-1 automatically might make you think of the world start screen from Super Mario Bros., the film is actually about what I call the rise and fall of the original Atari (I would have probably called the film The Rise and Fall of Atari). The film covers the birth of video games from their origins in scientific labs, onto games being played on what at the time were time-shared supercomputers, to the creation of arcade video game machines, and onto the rise and fall of early video game consoles (video gaming at home).

world 1-1 movie poster

To say the film is thorough would be an understatement although the movie mainly focuses on arcade and console game development. Although I love this film a lot, I can criticize that it barely touches on what was going on in the home computer field, which although Nintendo saved the console gaming market (probably what World 1-2 will be about), home computers also saved video games and people’s interest in electronics and computers with great machines such as the Commodore 64, Atari computers, and later Commodore Amiga (much before IBM clones and DOS become popular).

Getting back to what makes World 1-1 so great, the film has many great interviews with not just most of the important people that worked in Atari and Activision but also many interviews by people who work in Microsoft (and other important companies) and many famous people in the video game world such as arcade specialists and many of what I consider to be experts in video game history. This movie is like entering a time machine and seeing what it was actually like to have worked at Atari. There are many great stories of crazy things that would happen or also recollections describing how many breakthroughs came about. Some of the interviews also talk about the important business decisions that took place both from the managerial perspective and how the engineers and the rest of the employees responded to such decisions. Just like everything in life all things must come to an end and the movie deals with the death of the original Atari corporation in a very classy and dignified manner.

I highly recommend you view the movie as part of what I call some of the best movies and shows in video game, internet, hacker, and computer history such as: Pirates of Silicon Valley, Micro Men, Middle Men, The King of Kong, The Social Network, TRON, Takedown, Silicon Valley, and Halt And Catch Fire. World 1-1 and those shows and movies are what I call to be essential to watch if you a true interest in video game history. Chances are that if you’re reading this you already have such an interest.

You can buy the movie directly from the creators’ website or you can even get it over at Steam.

If I have to give the movie a numerical score I would say it’s a 9.5 out of 10. Stop reading this and go watch it NOW! 🙂

Here is an interview we did with the creators from when they were trying to get the funding for the film:

Here is a further interview we did after it got funded. It talks more about the making of the film:

Does upcoming film help gaming or further stereotype it?

After more than 30 years in gaming, I have always found the different ways gaming is portrayed in the mainstream interesting.  Sometimes I find humor in it, sometimes it’s made me mad and still other times it has made me shake my head.

Today’s gaming culture is far gone from the “kids thing” it used to be painted as, even if a great deal of the mainstream media still paints it that way.  With celebrities becoming more involved and museums recognizing video gaming history, it could be said that gaming culture has finally reached the same level of respect as other forms of entertainment such as television and film.

Noobz-Movie-Poster

This summer a video gaming film is set to debut.  Noobz, a film about a gaming team heading off to a major gaming tournament, is set to make it’s worldwide debut on June 6 at the Nokia Theatre, right as the E3 Expo is in town.

Upon watching the trailer I am given mixed emotions.  Some of it made me chuckle a little, such as the little kid on the other end of the XBox headset, the team name being spelled as “riegn” (the type of horrible misspelling one cannot play a game online without coming across), and a little homage to classic arcade gaming.

However, I can’t help but feel this film also pushes stereotypes of video gamers that simply don’t apply to the majority of gamers today.  The film seems to feature a number of foul-mouthed little kids, girlfriends that hate games and bash their boyfriends for playing them and loudmouthed stoner types that simply have nothing else to do.

I feel I speak for a large number of gamers out there when I say I tired of the “video gamers are basement dwelling virgins” stereotype a long time ago.  As a happily married man and father of two children, I can tell you firsthand that I know more die-hard gamers just like me, with families and an awareness of the world around them.  My wife is also a gamer, something else that is pretty common these days as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB1zJU08IiA[/youtube]

Basically, I’m mixed.  I want to say that anything that puts gaming center stage is a good thing for gaming culture, but I’m also reminded that this isn’t the first time I felt this kind of embarassment as well.  I was annoyed at how The Wizard and Video Power portrayed gamers back in the day and have a similar gut feeling about Noobz now.  The trailer reminds me more of why I started going into private party chats on Call of Duty instead of listening to the main lobby.

Therefore I am opening up the floor for discussion about this one.  Please take a moment to watch the trailer to your left and comment below or contact me via Twitter or direct message if you like.

Is Noobz a good thing for gaming culture, or does it base itself off of too many gaming stereotypes?