I’ve eagerly awaited the publication of Art of Atari since I first read about author Tim Lapetino’s in-progress book project many years ago. Art of Atari is aesthetically striking in a number of ways. It’s big, heavy, colorful, and exudes the feeling of a quality, professional product. The Deluxe Edition with its cartridge-emulating leather-bound cover and heavy-duty cardboard slipcase is artwork in itself, if you ask me. These were clearly not produced by some fly-by-night publishing house — it’s professional quality through and through. The subject matter necessitated high-quality printing in order to show off color, texture, and other subtleties in the artwork, and the book certainly delivers on that front, using extra-white paper to really make the imagery “pop” off the page. As someone who grew up with Atari (but somehow never owned another console until a PS3), and as someone with an admittedly lacking fantastical imagination, the artwork that accompanied Atari products made an enormous impression on me as a kid. It’s the talented artists and designers under Atari’s employ who deserve the credit for allowing me to dream of ideas and worlds bigger than those generated by glowing phosphor lines on a CRT screen, and Art of Atari does a spectacular job in affording them the recognition and credit they well deserve.
Gamers who grew up with Atari will fondly remember the striking box, instruction manual, and label artwork as artifacts of a bygone time, when dressing up a game in proverbial fancy clothing wasn’t seen as an act of deception or otherwise underhanded. Art of Atari promises to be much more than a simple compendium of artistic sentimentality, however. Tim Lapetino, graphic design director and author of Art of Atari, has gone to great lengths to chronicle memories and stories from the artists and designers themselves. Since Atari artists’ handiwork comes from a time when even game programmers weren’t given credit for their work (let alone artists), Art of Atari will be a long-deserved recognition of their important contributions to video gaming history and lore. On behalf of Atari.IO, I spoke with the author earlier this year about his project-turned-book labor of love.
In late 1983, as the affects of the video game crash were taking hold, Atari was putting the final touches on a brilliant retail concept that would present Atari as a lifestyle brand and place Atari in retail locations across the continent. Called “Atari Adventure,” the stores would have been a retail experience unlike any other. Atari Adventure mixed ideas of arcades, interactive cinemas, amusement park attractions, computer learning, video game and computer stores, and world’s fair pavilions.
“Great eras live forever.” We built this website with that in our hearts. When we remember Atari, often times we remember much more than games. We remember the music, the movies, the feel of the moment we lived in. We’ve created a video to express our love to something that cannot be put in words. It’s our homage to that moment, an overture that attempts to capture everything we love most about Atari and the era it defined. We love Atari, and we hope you do too.
By Fard Muhammad on July 28, 2014 | Twitter | Instagram I was into Atari before it was “retro”, but after it was “cool”. In other words, when it “sucked”. Now, though, it’s considered chic or bemusing to wear old Atari logo shirts and caps as the nostalgia movement is in full force in my […]
Microsoft offered Comic Con attendees an early look at what was billed as a rough cut of Atari: Game Over, the upcoming documentary ostensibly about the fabled Atari 2600 E.T. game. Though much has been made about the unearthing of buried Atari cartridges in the New Mexico desert, it does not prove to be the film’s most prominent focus. While the burial is present throughout, the film goes on to tell a larger story of the incredible rise and fall of Atari, once the fastest growing company in American history.
By Fard Muhammad on July 1, 2014 | Twitter | Instagram On July 2, 1984, Warner Communications, after reeling from Atari, Inc.’s massive losses in 1983, sold the home console and computer divisions of the company to Commodore founder Jack Tramiel’s company called Tramel Technology Limited (or TTL). Upon receiving the assets from Warner, TTL […]
Atari Is Like A Ship With A Hole In The Bottom, Leaking Water, And His Job Is To Get The Ship Pointed In The Right Direction
By Doctor Octagon on June 11, 2014 | Opinion His name is Fred Chesnais. Currently he’s CEO and majority shareholder of what we once called Atari and their dozen or so employees that remain on the books. His strategy for making Atari relevant again: “Let other people be Atari” by licensing the name to miscellaneous […]
In Moffett Park, a partition of land in Sunnyvale, California carved out between Caribbean Drive and Highway 237, lay the remains of what was once home to boundless imagination, creativity and wonder. Once upon a time this was home to the most magical company on Earth. This was home to Atari. The experience of walking around these buildings was surreal. It felt like a dead theme park. While modern companies and tech start-ups breathe new life into old offices, all you see is what once was. Like an old phone booth sitting broken and unused in the parking lot of an abandoned K-Mart. The phone booth had once been a ubiquitous part of daily life that once housed Clark Kent in his transformation into Superman, now it’s obsolete and the world around it has moved on. These are broken pieces of a fallen once-mighty empire. If you squint you can still see it.