In 1982, a daring archaeologist named Indiana Jones was thrilling movie audiences across the country as he battled poisonous snakes, runaway boulders, and ruthless Nazis in a fast-paced adventure film called “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Meanwhile, at the offices of the nation’s hottest video game company, programmer Howard Scott Warshaw was busy terrorizing his co-workers with a bullwhip.
“I had a 10-foot bullwhip that I got while doing Raiders of the Lost Ark, so I could get into character,” Warshaw says, his voice filled with conspiratorial glee. “When I’d take breaks, I’d go around the hallways,
sneak up behind people and crack the whip. It was really loud. Like a gunshot.”
As the man who programmed both Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. for the Atari 2600, Warshaw holds a special place in the history of movie-related video games. You’d be hard pressed to find two titles that better represent the highs and lows of Hollywood’s early-’80s flirtation with the fledgling video game industry.
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