Amico Revolution

Amico may be the first adult console

September 1972, Sunnyvale, California. The first PONG machine is dropped off at Andy Capp’s Tavern, an establishment for adults. Later, manager Bill Gattis notices the machine isn’t working. The circuitry didn’t fail, nor was the monitor faulty. The coin box was so stuffed full of quarters it wouldn’t accept any more credits.

The modern video game industry is founded on the above apocrypha. Never mind that the malfunction was likely caused not by the feverish enthusiasm of that night’s imbibers but Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari, sending his minions to the bar to stuff the machine senseless. The more salient point, and one oft-forgotten, is that video games were born into this world as a product of and for adults. And that is where they died when, in 1984, the industry crashed due to the cold adult realities of over-supply and low-quality control. Only when Nintendo released its own system into the west alongside a toy robot and toy gun did the game industry re-emerge and thrive, very much in thrall to a new, younger kind of player.

But some see the decades hence as a kind of complication feature creep. With each passing generation, we lose the simplicity of those early halcyon days. Late last month, at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, president of Intellivision Entertainment Tommy Tallarico announced a new home console that would escape the complications of modern design by not pushing forward, but by looking back. The name of this system: Intellivision Amico. Continue reading: VARIETY


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