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party poker

Audio Wars

The coin-op video game “Space Wars” was a 19xx copy of one of the first computer games. Two people flew two tiny ships around a tiny sun and took tinier potshots at each other. After I purchased a giant broken “Space Wars” video game cabinet, my friend Tom applied his engineering knowledge forcefully to the dead machine over the course of weeks. Everything but the monitor worked; you could fly around, shoot at your opponent, crash into the sun – but you could only hear these things happening. Tom switched out the cathrode ray tube, ran diagnostics, but the video game was unfortunately never restored. Eventually, the cabinet was used as a completely-functioning buffet table at a couple of parties. Tom and I still occasionally randomly engage in “audio wars,” making little ship shooting noises as if it’s part of our larger conversation. I’m not really sure what it’s triggered by, but it sounds something like this: “Pew pew!! Pew pew pew!”

Prior art includes Rick Moranis as prescient video disc jockey “Jerry Todd” on SCTV advertising and demonstrating “Audio Games,” an exciting electronic game system featuring a joystick and headphones.

Jeff Stendec (June 1, 2001)

Tags: combat | personal | videogame