Eugene Jarvis still believes in the arcade video game
Eugene Jarvis still believes in the arcade video game - Chicago Tribune: "Jarvis was born and raised in Silicon Valley. Which is a bit like writing: “Oprah Winfrey was born and raised in a Chicago TV studio.” The person matches the birthplace with eerie perfection. Then again, Jarvis, who is responsible for a remarkable number of gaming innovations and an absurdly long list of successful titles stretching four decades, is something of a video game Zelig, a game developer with a Forrest Gump-like ability to have witnessed (or had a hand in) a number of pivotal moments in the history of the medium.
Scrolling games, for instance. Jarvis pioneered scrolling. (Which is like being the first guy to say, “Hey, what would happen if we added pages to this stone tablet?”) Also, dual joysticks — he created dual joysticks.
As a teenager he attended the meetings of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club, which included Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. After college, he was hired by Atari, where founder Nolan Bushnell was pushing innovations (and Jobs was designing a new “Pong” game named “Breakout”). During the pinball era, Jarvis' successes included Atari's “Superman” and Williams Electronics' “Firepower” and “High Speed.” During the early '80s he designed “Defender,” “Stargate,” and “Robotron”; during the late '80s and '90s, he made “Narc,” “Smash TV,” and the “Cruis'n USA” franchise. More recently, he's the guy behind the “Fast and Furious” driving games, the publisher of “Big Buck Hunter” and the developer who recognized, as Hollywood did decades earlier when faced with the threat of television, the physical size of the medium would be key to its survival: Raw Thrills' machines, the industry standard, are loud and gigantic. . . ."