It’s the holidays, and we know what gift you probably want this year: Games! And what better way to learn about this season’s hottest new games than an infomercial?
This is a segment from “At Home For The Holidays,” featuring the 1993 holiday game lineup from Sunsoft. We don’t have much information about what “At Home For The Holidays” was, but it seems like it was a series of sponsored commercials for different products, and in this case, that product is Sunsoft games.
This infomercial came right on the heels of the video game moral panic of the 90s, so the presenters put a lot of emphasis on the idea that games like Aero the Acrobat “don’t have to be excessively violent to be fun.” They also mention that video games are useful for “assimilating […] children into the modern age,” which is a weird way to put it, but it shows how much the industry was trying to push the positive benefits of video games at this time.
This tape is part of an extensive collection of business and marketing records kept by Rita Zimmerer, a former executive at Sunsoft. We’re in the early stages of processing this collection, and can’t wait to show you more next year!
Community Spotlight: A Better, Faster Jaguar
Did you know that in addition to volunteering as our Head of Digital Conservation, engineer Rich Whitehouse has also been pushing the boundaries on emulating the Atari Jaguar? In the latest update on his Patreon, he’s pushed an update that adds native resolution rendering, unlocked framerate, analog controls, and all kinds of upgrades to the racing game Checkered Flag.
We really like this project. Not only because it’s giving attention to a hardware platform that doesn’t normally see much, but because Rich likes to challenge the idea of what it means to “restore” a game to give it modern context. Breaking the constraints of a game past what its native hardware allowed it to do is arguably a way of preserving intent to make it more palatable to today’s audiences, the video game equivalent of restoring Star Trek from its original film elements. And that this groundbreaking work is being done on the Atari Jaguar, of all things, adds a delicious spice of weirdness to the whole thing.