43 episodes

An award-nominated documentary audio series about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today. The Life and Times of Video Games combines context, analysis, interviews, and thoughtful reflection that ties every story back to the present day, because history doesn't just vanish into the distance behind us; it casts a very long shadow that affects everything that comes after it. The things that happened in the games industry 10, 20, 30 years ago all have a lasting legacy — sometimes small, sometimes large — and journalist and historian Richard Moss here tries to draw those through lines in the course of telling fascinating stories about the past. 

The Life & Times of Video Games The HP Video Game Podcast Network

    • Video Games
    • 5.0, 4 Ratings

An award-nominated documentary audio series about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today. The Life and Times of Video Games combines context, analysis, interviews, and thoughtful reflection that ties every story back to the present day, because history doesn't just vanish into the distance behind us; it casts a very long shadow that affects everything that comes after it. The things that happened in the games industry 10, 20, 30 years ago all have a lasting legacy — sometimes small, sometimes large — and journalist and historian Richard Moss here tries to draw those through lines in the course of telling fascinating stories about the past. 

    The Nostalgia Box

    The Nostalgia Box

    I go inside Australia's only permanent video game console museum and find that what makes it special is more than just the size of its collection — or the fact that it exists.
    Links

    The Nostalgia Box website 

    The Nostalgia Box is @nostalgia_box on Twitter 

    And @nostalgiabox on Instagram 

    Jessie Yeoh interview snippet taken from this WAtoday article


    There are some photos from my trip on the episode page



    To support my work, so that I can uncover more untold stories from video game history, you can make a donation via paypal.me/mossrc or subscribe to my Patreon. Learn more at lifeandtimes.games/donate (I also accept commissions, if you're after something specific.) 
    Also remember to rate this podcast on whatever podcasting platform you prefer.

    • 40 min
    Interview: Kelsey Lewin

    Interview: Kelsey Lewin

    I speak to Kelsey Lewin, a video game historian and collector, retro games store owner, and self-proclaimed Wonderswan enthusiast, about the challenges — and also the merits — of researching and archiving the artefacts connected to games development and culture, both past and present. She also shares her insights on how the growth in retro gaming helps fuel interest in games history, why some of the most interesting stories are far beyond the typical narratives of games history, what quirky things we can find when looking into the Wonderswan and its inventor, the famed Game Boy hardware designer Gunpei Yokoi, and much more.
    Kelsey co-directs the Video Game History Foundation with Frank Cifaldi, where the two of them have been doing amazing work in preserving and archiving the artefacts of games development and culture — not so much the games themselves, but rather more the packaging and documentation, the source code, the marketing materials, the magazines, etc. And she also co-owns Pink Gorilla Games, a retro games store located in Seattle.
    This is the fifth entry in a new series of interviews I'm running alongside the main show — every month(ish) I'll talk to a different person who's exploring games history, in one way or another, to learn about the many ways people are preserving the games industry's past as well as to further our understanding of how this wonderful medium (and the industry that's built around it) has come to be the way it is now.
    Interview conducted May 25th, 2020.
    Links
    I couldn't fit them inside the podcast summary character limit, so if you're interested you'll need to head to the episode page on my website: lifeandtimes.games/episodes/files/interview-kelsey-lewin.html


    To support Kelsey and her work you can:

    Donate to the Video Game History Foundation

    Follow her on Twitter @kelslewin


    Subscribe to her YouTube channel


    Buy stuff from Pink Gorilla Games


    You can support me and my work by: 

    Subscribing to my Patreon 

    Donating via PayPal 

    Following me (@MossRC) or the show (@LifeandTimesVG) on Twitter and Instagram (@lifeandtimesvg) 

    Buying my books — The Secret History of Mac Gaming is available now, albeit temporarily in digital form only (as it's now out of print), while Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet is still some ways off being finished. I'll have a book/ebook version of my audio documentaries out soon. 

    And telling other people to check out my stuff. 


    Thank you to all of my wonderful supporters on Patreon for making this possible, but especially to my $10+ backers Seth Robinson, Rob Eberhardt, Wade Tregaskis, Eric Zocher, Simon Moss, and Vivek Mohan. You can help, too — a contribution as little as $1 a month makes a big difference towards ensuring this show has a bright future ahead of it. (And as a Patron you'll get to skip those pesky cross-promotions from other shows on my network, among various other bonuses like transcripts and extra content.)

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Soundbite: a one-stop shop for (shareware) games

    Soundbite: a one-stop shop for (shareware) games

    Glenn Brensinger, former sysop of Software Creations, talks about how his then-boss Dan Linton's "Home of the Authors" Software Creations bulletin-board system (BBS) served as a sort of prototypical Steam.
    The interview was done as part of my research for my upcoming book Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet, which is on Kickstarter until July 8th.
     To get access to supporter-only soundbites, and early access to soundbites like this one, you can subscribe via Patreon — where anybody who donates $3 or more per month also gets ad-free high-bitrate downloads of every episode plus various other bonuses like research notes and full transcripts.
    You can also support me by sending a donation to paypal.me/mossrc. Learn more at lifeandtimes.games/donate

    • 5 min
    Interview: The CRPG Addict

    Interview: The CRPG Addict

    The man behind The CRPG Addict, a blog dedicated to playing through the entire history of computer role-playing games in roughly-chronological order, discusses his decade-long (and counting!) conquest and the roots of his passion. 
    We also explore how his approach has changed as he's learnt more about the genre's history, the merits and failings of a scoring system for comparing games, the value of talking about a tiny niche within a niche in such detail, how he learnt to stop feeling guilty about loving role-playing games, and more. 
    Interview conducted April 30, 2020.
    A super-basic overview of the CRPG lineage/family tree, as posited by Chet:

    The top level is PLATO games, the Ultima series, and Wizardry (though it also came from PLATO RPGs), plus SSI's early games

    Then you have key derivatives of these: Might & Magic, The Bard's Tale, Dungeon Master, and SSI's RPGs

    And "at least half" of the genre going into the 1990s branches off directly from these

    The period between roughly 1978-83 was the primordial stage, where there were lots and lots of weird ideas that turned out to be evolutionary dead ends

    As an example of how this works, he pointed to The Witcher III, which he believes has a clear antecedent in the Aurora engine games, including Neverwinter Nights, which took influence from the Infinity Engine games, which go back to SSI's Gold Box games, which go back to the early SSI titles. It's the CRPG equivalent to six degrees of separation.
    My full list of links from the episode is too long to fit into the summary field, so if you'd like to be directed to all the websites and blog entries and other things that relate to our discussion, you'll have to do so via lifeandtimes.games/episodes/files/interview-crpg-addict
    ***
    Please remember to tell other people about the show, and to leave a review by following the links at ratethispodcast.com/ltvg.
    Thank you to all of my wonderful supporters on Patreon for making this possible, but especially to my $10+ backers Eric Zocher, Seth Robinson, Wade Tregaskis, Simon Moss, and Vivek Mohan. You can help, too — a contribution as little as $1 a month makes a big difference towards ensuring this show has a bright future ahead of it. (And as a Patron you'll get to skip those pesky cross-promotions from other shows on my network, among various other bonuses like transcripts and extra content.)

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Pimps at Sea

    Pimps at Sea

    It began as an impromptu April Fools' Day gag, but Pimps at Sea was the joke that kept on giving. This is the story of how a chance encounter on the streets of Chicago led to a semi-annual tradition, an industry/fan-favourite insider joke, and a cult classic multiplayer game.
    As you'll hear in the episode, Pimps at Sea went through many iterations and received several "development" updates. You can find the original website archived on the Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20011107122402/http://www.bungie.com/products/pimps/pimpsatsea.htm and see a few highlights from the years that followed at the episode page on The Life and Times of Video Games website.
    Thanks as always to my supporters on Patreon — especially my $10+ backers Vivek Mohan, Simon Moss, Wade Tregaskis, Eric Zocher, and Seth Robinson. If you'd like to become a supporter, for as little as $1 a month, head to my Patreon page and sign up. Or for one-off donations you can use paypal.me/mossrc.
    Please remember to tell other people about the show, and to leave a review by following the links at ratethispodcast.com/ltvg. For more episodes on humorous moments in gaming history, check out Wololo, Bug Salad, and Hogs of War.
    My book, The Secret History of Mac Gaming, is available in bookstores in the UK and Australia, as well as online from the likes of Book Depository and Amazon. See the official website for more info.
    And if you'd like to commission me to do some games history or consulting work for you, in whatever form, and for this show or for your own thing, don't hesitate to email me on richard@lifeandtimes.games.

    • 38 min
    Interview: Phil Salvador (The Obscuritory)

    Interview: Phil Salvador (The Obscuritory)

    I speak to librarian, games critic, and blogger Phil Salvador about his website The Obscuritory and his research and writing on games unplayed and unknown. In a far-reaching interview, conducted in late February, 2020 (and thus before the full brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the West), we explore the challenges, rewards, and lessons we've each found in writing about little-known areas of games history, as well as the importance of being kind and much, much more.
    This is the third entry in a new series of interviews I'm running alongside the main show — every month(ish) I'll talk to a different person who's exploring games history, in one way or another, to learn about the many ways people are preserving the games industry's past as well as to further our understanding of how this wonderful medium (and the industry that's built around it) has come to be the way it is now. Follow the "games history explorers" tag or the Interviews category on my website to see them all. (Or just search the show feed in your podcast player for episodes that begin with "Interview:".)
    Links:


    Carly Kocurek (she's been researching the girl games movement, amongst other things)


    Control Monger freeware shooter game on Obscuritory


    Bring on the Old and Obscure at Archive.vg

    Bad Game Hall of Fame


    MobyGames user review of Destiny, a game that's like Civilization but terrible


    Knights of the Crystallion on The Obscuritory


    The Colony developer memoir; my book, The Secret History of Mac Gaming, tells more of the story behind the game

    Phil's article on one of Cyberflix's games, Lunicus; my book has some general info and a few insider quotes on the company's rise and fall

    Phil's interview with Bob Stein of the Voyager Company


    Millennium Auction article on Obscuritory

    The CRPG Book


    Mystery Science Theater on Wikipedia


    SimHealth article on The Obscuritory

    Video Game History Foundation co-director Kelsey Lewin's tweet about a pregnancy tracker for Wonderswan

    Treasure Quest Wikipedia entry


    Continuum (I also have a video about it and I covered it in my book)

    Emily Reid's Speculation Jam


    My talk on the rise and fall of Ambrosia Software


    Secret Writer's Society article on The Obscuritory


    Angst: A Tale in Urban Survival download


    Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness article on The Obscuritory

    Magfest

    Mysterium


    Keeping the Game Alive article/community profile on Eurogamer


    GTA Secret Hunters article/community profile on Ars Technica

    Tecmo Super Bowl fan and modding community

    Hamster Republic RPG engine

    Phil's Twitter handle is @ItsTheShadsy




    My book: https://secrethistoryofmacgaming.com/ 

    Life & Times of Games on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lifeandtimesofvideogames 

    Twitter: @LifeandTimesVG 


    Instagram: @lifeandtimesvg


    Podcast website: https://lifeandtimes.games  


    Please remember to tell other people about the show, and to leave a review by following the links at ratethispodcast.com/ltvg.
    Thank you to all of my wonderful supporters on Patreon for making this possible, but especially to my $10+ backers Eric Zocher, Seth Robinson, Wade Tregaskis, Simon Moss, and Vivek Mohan. You can help, too — a contribution as little as $1 a month makes a big difference towards ensuring this show has a bright future ahead of it. (And as a Patron you'll get to skip those pesky cross-promotions from other shows on my network, among various other bonuses like transcripts and extra content.)

    • 1 hr 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

nwilliams82 ,

A relaxing way to enjoy gaming history

This podcast is really well researched and delivered. The presentation has a calm and peaceful atmosphere, a nice change from the standard loud and active podcast format.

Pia_zhang ,

Great quality and well made

Love the way history is told in this podcast!

hellfire064 ,

Excellent Historical Series

There is so much which can (and must) be told about the history of video games as a medium. It may still be early days, "The Life & Times of Video Games" is a great listen on so many things which aren't normally talked about in other podcasts/videos/books.

Well worth a listen if you want to learn something you may not have already known…

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