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November 2012 Retro Gaming Article


November 11, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari history comes to life in this innovative book, Atari Inc - Business Is Fun

Staying on top of Retro Gaming is a daunting task. Between the numerous websites, podcasts, videos and occasional insider leaks on social media - there's a lot to keep up with. Not to mention squeezing in some time for Yar's Revenge and Asteroids... among hundreds of others.
Atari Inc - Business Is Fun - book
Searching through Amazon for a historical tome on Atari, all the ones I found warned they were simply amalgamations of Wikipedia entries - nothing new, no incites from past Atari execs or developers. Disappointed I pointed my search at Google and found a Kickstarter project for an upcoming book about Atari's history. But it was long over, already meeting & surpassing it's funding goal. I jumped over to the website for the book, Atari Inc - Business Is Fun to discover it was to be published in the next few weeks. My eyes lit up!

Written by Martin Goldberg (Video game programmer and industry writer) and Curt Vendel (Entrepreneur, and IT Systems Engineer, self-taught Electrical Engineer, historian, founder and curator of the Atari History Museum), this seems to be a very different kind of book. We've all seen much of the public history and specs behind Atari.

This book promises to go behind the scenes and elicit what made Atari the great company that led video gaming into the living rooms of millions of people. With emphasis on what made Atari a fun company to work for, they reached out to numerous former Atari employees to get a look at the inside of the company that redefined fun.

I can't confirm this, but I've seen hints that Atari Inc - Business Is Fun is the first in a series of books. As I understand it, this series is broken down by chronology with later books to explore the ongoing history and experience within the walls of Sunnyvale's infamous company. It stands to reason that Atari's history can't necessarily by summed up in a single volume, so I'm hoping this book is actually the first of several.

It was slated for a Summer 2012 release, but online postings suggest they are now only weeks away from publishing. Stay in the loop and have your credit card handy - this book promises to be a uniquely different look into Atari's history and what it's like to create "fun" for a living!

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