Saturday, June 30, 2007
George Plimpton hawked crappy video games
George Plimpton was a pretty interesting guy. Editor in chief of The Paris Review, sports writer, actor and video game hawker. Hey, we've all got our price, right? Well, I hope Plimpton's price was pretty high for pimping this travesty. As some of you may not recall, because you hadn't even been born yet, Plimpton hawked the Intellivision game system for a period of time in the early 80's, and man are these commercials something else. He was known as "Mr. Intellivision" and appeared in a few bizarre ads with ET star Henry Thomas. Check out this one for Intellivision baseball (Henry Thomas not included).
As Plimpton says during the ad, "Which of these games is the closest thing to the real thing?"
Despite the close up of the sprites, I'll go out on a limb and say neither.
Intellivision's Major League Baseball also had no fly balls, despite the sound effects. Everything hit was a ground ball. George, are you kidding me? No fly balls?
Intellivision's main competitor was Atari, and watching Plimpton compare Atari games to Intellivision games is like comparing diarrhea to crap. One's a little more solid than the other, but not by much.
For even more fun, check out the thrilling basketball video game comparison. For the Atari version, it's literally a one-legged stickman throwing a square at a large vertical rectangle. [Side note: Atari Basketball was featured in the the movie Airplane. The air traffic controllers were playing it.] It really is like playing real basketball - if you lived in a land of squares and rectangles.