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Atari - the Comprehensive History (Volume 1)

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Those who may have missed it, its been officially announced....


Coming Summer 2012 in time for Atari's 40th Anniversary, Marty Goldberg and I will release Volume 1 of our Comprehensive History of Atari (from its beginnings to July 1984) and hopefully by the end of the year 2012 Volume 2 will follow (July 1984 to March 1998)


The reason why these are coming out in 2 volumes is, there was no way, short of the book being 1,200 pages, to do the proper and just history of Atari and not some watered down rehash like whats been done over and over, this goes into areas and information, well beyond anything ever done before...


7 years of research, 1,000's of documents and hundreds of interviews are coming together to give everyone the most Comprehensive History of Atari ever told.





(Plus something else will be coming out very soon.... will let you know.)





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Press Release


For Immediate Release: December 19, 2011

Atari Book

T: 414.380.2781

E: ataribook@gmail.com

Contact: Martin Goldberg, Media Relations


Book Chronicling The People And Brand That Created The Video Game Industry To Be Released


December 21, 2011 - Video game industry historians Martin Goldberg and Curt Vendel have publicly announced the targeted release of their book on the history of Atari Inc., the seminal video game company that dominated the early industry. Over 7 years in the making, poring over thousands of original documents and internal resources as well as conducting hundreds of interviews with former Atari employees, the duo are now in the home stretch and spending time in the final leg of interviews and research.


Atari Inc., originally started as an engineering partnership between Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1969 called Syzygy Co., became the foundation of the early video game industry. The company and the brand were synonymous with "video games" in the 1970's and 80's, dominating both the arcade and consumer industries during those periods while making inroads in to computing and other little publicly known advanced research, even bringing legendary Xerox/Parc researcher Alan Kay on board to lead an advanced research division. However due to corporate mismanagement and driven to extraordinary growth by it's parent company Warner Communications, in 1984 it imploded spectacularly taking most of the US video game industry with it.



In an age where Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft now dominate the consumer industry and the video arcade industry has all but disappeared, Gen-Xers and those old enough to have grown up during the "Age of Atari" still cling fondly to the memories of this period. The passion and loyalty for the brand still sounds loudly in the hearts of fans as evidenced by the large collectors market for Atari arcade games, hardware, and paraphernalia. Goldberg and Vendel began the book as a testament to the unsung heroes who created the legacy of Atari, and had just as much fun creating it as the people who played it. Tentatively titled "Silicon Hot Tub: Atari Inc. How innovative leisure created the video game industry, and how excess almost destroyed it," the book is targeted for a release in conjunction with the Atari brand's 40th anniversary this June.


"With this book, we really wanted to make it more about the stories and people that worked there" said Goldberg, former site director of IGN/Gamespy's ClassicGaming.Com and a current freelancer for Retro Gamer magazine. "More then just the usual facts, figures, and oft repeated personalities, really give fans an unparalleled look in to what it was like to work at a place that created fun for a living."



Vendel, founder of the Atari History Museum - the only organization dedicated to the preservation and archiving of Atari's history, said "To most people, Atari was the logo, the hardware and a culmination of myths and lore almost as treasured as the products themselves. What most people never knew were the hearts and souls that created the company, the real lives that unfolded within its hallways. So many triumphs and defeats, arguments and inspirations, that all germinated in to incredible products, games...as well as spectacular blunders. This is about the people of Atari, and the story of going from a risky idea in an industry that didn't exist to smiles, laughs, arguments and defeats while holding onto the wildest ride in high-tech history."



Atari luminaries have been very supportive in the research and writing of the book. Owen Rubin, creator of such arcade classics as Space Duel and Major Havok stated "Finally, a book about the people who made Atari real, who made the games, built the devices, and made sure people had fun. Not about the business of video games, but a book through the eyes of the people who WERE Atari. See it from our perspective for a change." Atari co-founder Ted Dabney added "There have been several books written about Atari that have been less than accurate. Finally there seems to be a book that promises to be about what really happened. Marty and Curt have put in a lot of time to be sure that what they have to say is based on fact and not a lot of the fiction that has been floated about for many years."



There’s still more interviews and documentation inquiry to do! Consequently, they are seeking funds to cover travel and research expenses during this period via the unique services of crowd funding service Kickstarter. To get more information, watch their video, or to donate and become part of the movement to make this all happen, please visit the book's Kickstarter project at:



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What's the expected price for each volume?


Not totally sure yet, I would think they will probably be around $29.99 give or take, we have to see what the Publisher says will be the best value given the size and photo content within.


Does a $50 pledge get both or just the first one?


This applies to the first release book


Is the release contingent on receiving sufficient donations/pledges?


No, but it helps from having to keep racking up charges on my credit card everytime there is travel or access to County or Court Documents.... the documents part is the worst, the clerks are of ZERO help, its like russian roulette with them, for example - on the Atari v. Amiga lawsuit, I ended up buying all 5 volumes of court documents, no joke - it cost me nearly $800 in fees to get it all, sure it was well worth it once I found them, accessed the docket #'s and tracked them down, but the costs to get those kinds of materials are not cheap and out of the 5 volumes, really only 1/2 of 1 volume was the true key one needed, but you have to take the chances to get that kind of stuff and with a project like this, were leaving no stone unturned in trying to get the full story, and the exact facts to make things as accurate as possible.






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Hope you don't spend my $50 on chicas!


Congrats guys, can't wait to see the book in print.


LOL, no. Everything is going towards econo-class travel to California for more interviews, paying for legal and archived documents, etc. Of course if someone were to donate chicas as well we wouldn't turn that down. ;)

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I often write that Atari deserves a book so I will support it.


Images will be included?

It would be nice to see prototypes designs, for example.

If you would like to include photos of Atari 8-bit computers, there's an AA member able to do professional photos who has all of them new in box.

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