COINS DETECTED IN POCKET

 

Welcome to the premier installment of a column dedicated exclusively to Old School Gamers. These gamers, back in the day, had to physically use a coin to start a video game. The earning of coinage was mostly accomplished after some form or work, usually hard. After earnings were paid, there was the trip itself to the ARCADE. ARCADE is written in ALL CAPS because it is the Old School Gamer’s origin. It was and is remembered as a hallowed place. Respect your origins.

The journey to the ARCADE was all uphill, from whichever direction you began, because the ARCADE was a lofty place. The journey was froth with enemies all along the way to fight, such as dinosaurs, quarter bandits and later the counterfeit token Mafia. You oftentimes needed no warm-up once at the ARCADE because of the battles you had to endure en-route. This is the story of one such Champion – of the battles INSIDE the ARCADE.

The name Michael Klug is forever indelibly linked with the ARCADE classic video game Pole Position. Michael was recently inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa. This was an induction long overdue. Let us look at the game before we look at the player.

THE GAME

Pole Position was designed by the same designer who designed Pac-Man, Toru Iwatani. Pole Position was released in Japan in July 1982, then in North America in November of that same year.

Pole Position was a breath of fresh air, graphics-wise, versus the two-dimensional game releases of the previous two years. The point of view was from a rear pseudo third-person view. While this was often seen in the two-dimensional views, the graphics were so phenomenal that they were award-winning. Pole Position was Coin Op Game of the Year in 1983.

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