10-1 | New…Now?


Or Why a Design History of Coin-op Video Game Machines

Raiford Guins


The author asks what has occurred in game history scholarship to warrant the use of the adjective “new” in “New Video Game History” and suggests an awareness of process may now be influencing the study of games. In support of this observation, he organizes the article along two interrelated fronts. The first speaks to the on-going process of collection development at cultural institutions while the second addresses a shift in how game history is currently being written. The latter, he argues, demonstrates why we ought to consider carefully what “new” might signal for the critical historical study of games. At length, the article concludes by making a case for turning to design history to write a historical study of Atari’s coin-operated machines.  Key words: Atari; coin-ops; design history; graphic design; game history; indus-trial design; New Video Game History