47 episodes

An award-nominated documentary and narrative 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. History doesn't just vanish into the distance behind us; it casts a very long shadow that affects everything that comes after it, and so with The Life and Times of Video Games journalist and historian Richard Moss draws those through lines to tell fascinating stories about the past that link right back to the present. 

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

    • Video Games
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

An award-nominated documentary and narrative 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. History doesn't just vanish into the distance behind us; it casts a very long shadow that affects everything that comes after it, and so with The Life and Times of Video Games journalist and historian Richard Moss draws those through lines to tell fascinating stories about the past that link right back to the present. 

    Transport Tycoon (aka the great optimiser, Chris Sawyer)

    Transport Tycoon (aka the great optimiser, Chris Sawyer)

    On the rise and, um...fade out(?) of Chris Sawyer, the genius creator of bestselling, critically-acclaimed simulation games Transport Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon — who made a career out of working at the cutting-edge, in bare metal assembly code that he wrote and optimised (and optimised again) on his own, until the cutting-edge left him behind.
    Chris was only a design consultant on 2004 game RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, but its remastered "Complete" edition has just come out on Nintendo Switch and the PC version is free on the Epic Games Store right now (until October 2). The original two games are also still sold via the likes of Steam and GOG.
    Transport Tycoon, meanwhile, lives on in open-source project OpenTTD and in a mobile port (Android, iOS) of the original game by Chris's company 31X. 
    Thanks as always to my supporters on Patreon — especially my $10+ backers Carey Clanton, Rob Eberhardt, Simon Moss, Vivek Mohan, Wade Tregaskis, 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.
    I'm currently writing a new book called Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet. You can learn more and/or pre-order your copy from Unbound.

    • 37 min
    Soundbite: Vance Cook on inventing new control mechanics for virtual golf

    Soundbite: Vance Cook on inventing new control mechanics for virtual golf

    Former Links, PGA Championship Golf, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour lead Vance Cook explains how and why his team(s) created new ways to swing a virtual golf club — beginning with the C-shaped gauge in Links and leading into "TruSwing" on Front Page Sports Golf and PGA Championship, and then ending with the motion-controller (Wiimote) swing in Tiger Woods Wii.
    Also listen for insights into the difference between sports games that aim for simulation versus those that aim for the "emotional experience".
    This soundbite uses leftover material from Episode 27 - Links, though that story's not a pre-requisite for listening.
    Thanks as always to my supporters on Patreon — especially my $10+ backers Carey Clanton, Seth Robinson, Wade Tregaskis, Simon Moss, Rob Eberhardt, and Vivek Mohan. 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, as word-of-mouth is the main way my audience grows, and if you'd like to leave a review you can do so by following the links at ratethispodcast.com/ltvg.
    I'm currently writing a new book, Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet. You can learn more and/or pre-order your copy from Unbound.

    • 11 min
    Links

    Links

    In 1990, in a bid to move ahead of their rivals, Access Software reinvented virtual golf. Their game Links set the template for golf games over the next decade, with a technological tour de force, and along the way it dominated bestselling PC games charts month after month, year after year. Until suddenly it didn't.
    This is the story of Links and the huge shadow it cast over its genre.
    If you'd like to play the original Links for yourself and would like to see it the way people saw it at the time, don't forget to turn down the CPU speed in DOSBox — a 386 was still a high-end machine when it came out, and so you want to go somewhat slower than that. 


    TruGolf 

    EA got out of golf games after Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in 2015, but 2K picked up the PGA Tour licence this year and has taken over publishing duties for former EA Sports contractors HB Studios' golf series The Golf Club — now renamed PGA Tour 2K. Their first game together, PGA Tour 2K21, just came out on Switch, Xbox One, and PS4 (disclosure: those are Amazon affiliate links).


    Thanks as always to my supporters on Patreon — especially my $10+ backers Seth Robinson, Wade Tregaskis, Rob Eberhardt, Vivek Mohan, Simon Moss, and Eric Zocher. 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.
    I'm currently writing a new book, Shareware Heroes: Independent Games at the Dawn of the Internet. You can learn more and/or pre-order your copy from Unbound.

    • 41 min
    The Life & Times of Video Games trailer

    The Life & Times of Video Games trailer

    An 87-second promo trailer for The Life & Times of Video Games, encapsulating the essence of its form, style, and content over three seasons and counting.
    Have you ever wondered about the stories behind your favourite video games? Like, how they were made and why they were designed a certain way?
    The Life and Times of Video Games has the answers to all of this and more, packaged in half-hour audio documentaries that take you back to the past and loop you into the present — to understand not just how games used to be, but how they shaped the medium into what it is today.
    Find out more at lifeandtimes.games.
    (And if you're a current listener, please share this with anyone you think might be interested in the show.)

    • 1 min
    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

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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