Posts filed under: Blog

From Melbourne House to Czechoslovak Clubs

Czechoslovakia of the 1980s was a country behind the so-called Iron Curtain. Its economy was in a dire shape and its citizens were either oppressed or annoyed (or both) by its conservative totalitarian regime. It required considerable personal connections to be able to subscribe to a Western magazine or import ... Continue Reading »

Home Coder: Lost Treasure Recovered

Forgotten what amused your 12 year old self? Rediscover the pleasure of school boy gags and code with this lost game of the 1980s. Matthew Hall's Microbee adventure game the “Jewels of Sancara Island” had survived the last thirty or so years as a Turbo Pascal listing ... Continue Reading »

Law and the game cloners

As we have discovered, most early computer games are still protected by copyright and therefore they cannot be archived or made available online (even for not-for-profit purposes like the PlayitAgain project) without the consent of their copyright owners. However copyright protection will not necessarily protect computer games from game cloners, who ... Continue Reading »

Local Arcade Culture

What was your local arcade like?  Tell us about it.  Were the machines new, with their own artwork?  Or were they generic cabinets, converted from other games? Was it a welcoming space or somewhere less than safe to hangout?  A full arcade, or just a few machines?  Do you have any ... Continue Reading »

Microbee – a local AU computer

The Microbee was an Australian computer designed, built, and marketed by Applied Technology, in Gosford, N.S.W.  Originally released in February 1982, it was intended for the schools market but also had a wide and deep following amongst home users.  A considerable amount of software was published locally for the Microbee, ... Continue Reading »

Microbee – Alan Laughton

What got you started collecting on/around the area of games?  Back in the 80's I was also a stamp collector, so collecting came natural.  But for computer games, there was a scarcity of games for the Microbee at the time, so one collected everything you could, be it a type-in, public ... Continue Reading »

My start in the games industry

I’ve been making games for a while and what got me into games as a kid was a visit to the Lismore Show. I grew up in rural NSW and a trip to the Lismore Show was a big event - it was basically lots of cows and horses and ... Continue Reading »

Ocker adventures

This month, we are discussing local scenes and themes, on both sides of the Tasman.  To kick things off, I figured the New Zealanders might enjoy a laugh at some cringeworthy Australiana... Anyone for "Bunyip Adventure"?  What about the virtual Mick Dundee in "Aussie Games"? ... Continue Reading »

Orphan Works circa 2014

Absent a legal solution for the orphan games, archivists have to balance the risks. On the one hand, to not archive them risks their physical deterioration and loss to our cultural heritage, but does comply with copyright law. On the other hand, to digitally archive the orphan games will preserve them ... Continue Reading »

Role Playing Games Conventions in 1980s and local community

Local role playing games conventions such as Melbourne’s Arcanacon and Canberra’s Cancon were important in the 1980s in bringing together people who were interested in the emerging genre of home computer games. Steve Fawkner, author of the “Warlords” series and “Puzzlequest” games, recalls taking the first ... Continue Reading »

Ruminations On “The Hobbit” Fandom

In the last year of a Bachelor’s degree in Science at Melbourne University in 1981, Phil and I were hired by Fred Milgrom as part-time programmers to write “the best adventure game ever”. Based on the game’s commercial success and feedback from fandom still rolling in ... Continue Reading »
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