Today, Dynamite Comics announced the release of the upcoming book Art of Atari about a simpler time when video games only came in large pixels and people still giggled openly when they heard the word joystick. There were no cutscenes or orchestrated scores. Savepoints? What’s a savepoint? You had a limited number of lives, and unless you did something really good to get bonus lives, you started over if you died.
Atari was one of the first big video game companies. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s their 2600 home system held a lion’s share of the home market. You were nobody unless you had a 2600 at home to play pixelated versions of the games you paid a quarter for at the arcade. And they weren’t pretty. They didn’t sound good either, but it would be almost a decade before Nintendo would release the NES so most people didn’t care; that’s all there was.
One of the things that always stood out from those horribly cheesy home game versions was the packaging art. We’re talking paintings of alien invasions and nuclear attacks. Grand drama that was nothing like what was played from the cartridge you were paying for. Many kids found it a better game to make up a story to match the art. Though, after a while, imagination seemed like a bad idea; back they went to drooling in front of the TV to play games.
Robert Conte and Tim Lapetino teamed up to officially share 40 years of Atari’s video game art, along with all the details of how it was created. Available for pre-order now via Amazon, with an October 25th release date, Art of Atari looks to be one of those coffee table books video game geeks will want to have on display to remember the good ol’ days.
Images via Dynamite Entertainment