106 episodes

Love of the worlds created by video game designers and personalities drives Alex Smith & Jeffrey Daum (history, law, CS degrees) to provide a scholarly yet light-hearted discussion of how arcade, home console, and PC games merged into a Video Game Industry. Emphasis is on the combination of business and creative elements needed for financial success. Interviews of Atari, EA, Activision, & other execs with detailed source evaluations produce the insights you hear in these 122+ hours!

They Create Worlds Alex Smith, and Jeffrey Daum

    • History

Love of the worlds created by video game designers and personalities drives Alex Smith & Jeffrey Daum (history, law, CS degrees) to provide a scholarly yet light-hearted discussion of how arcade, home console, and PC games merged into a Video Game Industry. Emphasis is on the combination of business and creative elements needed for financial success. Interviews of Atari, EA, Activision, & other execs with detailed source evaluations produce the insights you hear in these 122+ hours!

    The Small Voice of Magnavox

    The Small Voice of Magnavox

    TCW Podcast Episode 106 - The Small Voice of Magnavox
     
    Magnavox continues to strive for survival as an axillary of Philips.  While people close to the video game division continue to be optimistic about their offerings; management at Philips was not so.  The company continued to be plagued with production shortfalls with new chips, FCC approval problems, and new competition.  They were able to make a few games of note developing some interesting ideas on where to take home consoles.  Ultimately Magnavox faded into just a brand name for Philips after the video game crash.
     
    Magnavox Odyssey 2000: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEEhwCIUDhE
    Magnavox Odyssey 3000: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW0vW3D91ew
    TCW 016 - Early Computer Game Platforms: The Trinity, and The Disciples:http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/early-computer-game-platforms-the-trinity-and-the-disciples/
    Magnavox Odyssey 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z4amwfcO9k
    Invaders from Hyperspace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hryPZIcaksY
    Take the money and run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTB3VLhCRjE
    Quest for the Ring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-m-_11Jjf8
    KC Muchkin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07JtE4pIq8U
    TCW 027 - The Magnavox Patent Lawsuits: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-magnavox-patent-lawsuits-friday-september-16-2016-1003-am/
    https://www.magnavox.com/en/
     
    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
     
    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 
    Twitter: @tcwpodcast
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds
    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com
    Alex's book is available for order through CRC Press and other retailers: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1
     
    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 
    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 
     
    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 21 min
    The Big Voice of Magnavox

    The Big Voice of Magnavox

    TCW Podcast Episode 105 - The Big Voice of Magnavox
     
    We look at the company of Magnavox.  Started around the turn of the century getting into electronics with voice amplification, and eventually radios.  Magnavox continued with home  electronics in televisions and stereo systems.  Unfortunately their visionary leader died unexpectedly, and with the rise of non-American television manufacturers put a lot of pressure on the company.  With all this pressure Magnavox is bought by Philips in 1974 to expand the Dutch company's holdings in the United States.  The video game division continued  to fight for survival and relevance as the decade wound to a close.
     
    Retro Tech - The Wire Recorder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90ihiTwJPCc
    TCW 026 -The Magnavox Odyssey: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-magnavox-odyssey/
    Magnavox Console Demo (Ft. "Come Fly With Me"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxtWWof3P7s
    Magnavox Odyssey Ski: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NAqFUhXX48
    Magnavox Odyssey Commercials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MnRkPvIjKE
    Magnavox Odyssey 100(4:43 timestamp): https://youtu.be/HQfDSygn794?t=283
    Magnavox Odyssey 500: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Av3ct3yR6A
    Magnavox Odyssey 400 Unboxing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNSfOiTUoq8
    Magnavox Odyssey 300:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xpO3CJnjiU
     
    The book giveaway is LIVE from January 1st 2020 through February 1st 2020 GMT. 
    More information at: http://theycreateworlds.com/giveaway
     
    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
     
    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 
    Twitter: @tcwpodcast
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds
    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com
    Alex's book is available for order through CRC Press and other retailers: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1
     
    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 
    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 
     
    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 15 min
    A Holistic View of ET

    A Holistic View of ET

    TCW Podcast Episode 104- A Holistic View of ET
     
    The game that has become so shrouded in myth and legend is brought to light in this holiday episode!  We look at how E.T. was thrust upon Atari by Warner in a bid to bring Stephen Spielberg in to makes movies for Warner.  With a massive royalty overhead, a short five week production time, and a massive brain drain at Atari Howard Scott Warshaw stepped up to the challenge.  He took the ambitious task of programing E.T. for Atari, having done Raiders of the Lost Arc previously.  Despite the time crunch he decided do an adventure like game which, in combination with a lack of mentorship,  lead to some poor design choices.   Though lauded as being 'the worst game ever' E.T. is just an unfortunate game that hit Atari at an inopportune time.
     
     
    Original E.T. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7-2PB4jj2o
    Adventure 2600 Walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzCrb8y5NCU
    Yar's Revenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrHUJrhZMJI
    Raiders of the lost Ark Speed Run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP-e0-0PpLc
    ET Atari 2600: ET explained by Atari: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-pzdPLfy9Y
    Simpsons "Can't Sleep Clown Will Eat Me": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3yuFlvRyqM
    TCW 044 - Founding, Syzygy to Atari: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/founding-syzygy-to-atari/
    TCW 045 - Atari, Ventures and Acquisitions: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/atari-ventures-and-acquisitions/
    TCW 046 - Atari, Ray Kassar, and Warner: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/atari-ray-kassar-and-warner/
    TCW 047 - Vestiges of Atari: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/vestiges-of-atari/
    TCW 019 - The Great Video Game Crash Part 1: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-great-video-game-crash-part-1/
    TCW 020 - The Great Video Game Crash Part 2: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-great-video-game-crash-part-2/
    TCW 021 - The Great Video Game Crash Part 3: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-great-video-game-crash-part-3/
     
    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
     
    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 
    Twitter: @tcwpodcast
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds
    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com
    Alex's book is available for order through CRC Press and other retailers: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1
     
    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 
    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 
     
    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Elite Systems

    Elite Systems

    TCW Podcast Episode 103 - Elite Systems
     
    We look at one of the British software companies Elite Systems.  The company was originally named Richard Wilcox software, and was founded as a collaboration between two brothers with the encouragement of their father.   Owing to Richard still being a teenager, had schooling, and could not make programing a full-time career at the time the decision was made to rebrand the company.  Steve renamed the company to Elite Systems in 1984, and hired bedroom coders to produce software for the company.  The company continued to be one of the industry leaders when it came to where the market was going.  They went to licenses, in studio development, consoles, independent developer, and now mobile gaming.  We finish up looking briefly at the controversy around the company's Kick-Starter campaign for the ZX Spectrum Bluetooth keyboard for retro games. 
     
    Blue Thunder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9nESwphljA
    Kokotoni wilf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cnq4SdcYzs
    Airwolf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LOAciMPGrI
    Frank Bruno's Boxing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cUku-A0UOc
    TCW 035 - EA: The Teenage Years: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/ea-the-teenage-years/
    TCW 028 - Picking up the Pieces: The US Arcade Industry After the Crash: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/picking-up-the-pieces-the-us-arcade-industry-after-the-crash/
    Commando: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKom2O2H0pQ
    Paperboy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR9tQYb76UM
     Dragon's Lair EU NES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63JKJPtZ344
    Striker SNES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVmLLmILrrg
    Test Drive Off-Road PSX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMNUsD_FfQw
    Test Drive Off-Road PC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA3M5K0ezsg
    Telegraph video of ZX Spectrum Bluetooth Keyboard with Steve Wilcox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HQQsKBeIpI
     
    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
     
    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 
    Twitter: @tcwpodcast
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds
    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com
    Alex's book is available for order through CRC Press and other retailers: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1
     
    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 
    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 
     
    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Stern Electronics

    Stern Electronics

    TCW Podcast Episode 102 - Stern Electronics
     
    We look at the short history of Stern Electronics.  A company that has influenced and been influenced by multiple other companies through its people.  We cover the paths of many of these people including the founder Gary Stern.  During the transition to video games in the late 70's and early 80's Stern was the American arm for Konami bringing over many of their games.  With financial difficulties from having to buy out one of the major investors, once they became mired in legal trouble, and the collapse of the video game industry, Stern ceased to be.  A quick flash for an interesting company.
     
    TCW 059 - Williams’ Crazy Story Pt 1: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/williams-crazy-story-pt-1/
    TCW 060 - Williams’ Crazy Story Pt 2: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/williams-crazy-story-pt-2/
    TCW 090 - Lion and Bally Manufacturing: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/lion-and-bally-manufacturing/
    TCW 091 - Bally: The Road to Fitness: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/bally-the-road-to-fitness/
    Dr. Tran: (potentially NSFW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO0kRE5OTZI
    TCW 051 - Sons of Pong: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/sons-of-pong/
    Smiley Face History: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/feb/21/smiley-face-design-history
    URL Video Action Indy 500: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIa0J10raDc
    Berzerk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdewB64l2-c
    TCW 052 - The Many Faces of Konami: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/the-many-faces-of-konami/
    Astro Invader: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UcmU0qV5U8
    The End: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcOa6DSDgxQ
    Tutankham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z242gkTzmM
     
    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
     
    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 
    Twitter: @tcwpodcast
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds
    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com
    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1
     
    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 
    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 
     
    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Infocom

    Infocom

    TCW Podcast Episode 101 - Infocom
    We look at the short life of Infocom.  A company that fell into the videogame sphere.  Best known for their text adventure games, including the renowned game Zork.  They started off as a company to keep creative minds together from MIT, and brought forth unique developments including using virtualization for video games.  Due to lack of innovation, combined with its acquisition by Activision, the failure of their database Cornerstone, and  saturating the market with a niche product; the company was closed down in the late 1980's.  With a dedicated fan base in text adventures, Infocom's influence has been felt in some circles to the present day!
    TCW084 - Time Shared: http://podcast.theycreateworlds.com/e/time-shared/
    Colosal cave advcenture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3etkSoHrR8
    Zork on a PDP-11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYng1yypNCA
    Zork Example Play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNN4VPlRBJ8
    Quick Explanation of Virtualization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XItj08D5KPk
    What is Virtual Memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2quKyPnUShQ
     
    New episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
    TCW Email: feedback@theycreateworlds.com 
    Twitter: @tcwpodcast
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theycreateworlds
    Alex's Video Game History Blog: http://videogamehistorian.wordpress.com
    Alex's book is available for preorder and should be released through CRC Press in December 2019: http://bit.ly/TCWBOOK1
    Intro Music: Josh Woodward - Airplane Mode -  Music - "Airplane Mode" by Josh Woodward. Free download:http://joshwoodward.com/song/AirplaneMode 
    Outro Music: RolemMusic - Bacterial Love - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Rolemusic/Pop_Singles_Compilation_2014/01_rolemusic_-_bacterial_love 
    Copyright: Attribution: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 1 hr 28 min

Customer Reviews

VeroDeb ,

Interesting, historical info from past CEOs and other business leaders

I am amazed that Alex has been able to interview corporate leadership-present and deceased-to capture their perspective on why their corporations succeeded or failed. Kudos to Alex and his co-host Jeffrey for bringing this info to our ears for the last 4 years.

Congrats on the debut of a your first Volume in bookstores and on Amazon.

Aboissonneau ,

Best Podcast related to Video Game History

This is head and shoulders above anything else I’ve seen related to the history of video games.

Plasmic Steve ,

Scholarly and Entertaining

These guys did deep into video game history from angles that aren’t usually covered - like the financial and retail aspects of the industry. Their knowledge is formidable and when they cover a topic, like the video game crash of the early 80s, they cover it so thoroughly that the listener is left feeling like they were a part of the events being discussed. Great podcast - highly recommended!

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