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The Video Game Newsroom Time Machine is a weekly retro gaming podcast in which we travel back in time to see what was making headlines 40, 30, and 20 years ago in the arcade, video game, and computer gaming business and interview industry veterans. 

We try to put those events into historical context to understand how the industry of today came to be. 

It's fun and educational! (in case you need to justify listening to it to a significant other)

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Aug 24, 2021

IBM launches the PC
The morality police have video games in their sights
Venture Capital wants a piece of the software market

These stories and many more on this episode of the Video Game Newsroom Time Machine

This episode we will look back at the biggest stories in and around the video game industry in August of 1981.
As always, we'll mostly be using magazine cover dates, and those are of course always a bit behind the actual events.

Peter is on vacation so we have the pleasure of Mads from the Retro Asylum to join us.

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Time Codes:
7 Minutes in Heaven: 5:00
Corrections: 11:10
Time Jump: 28:20

7 Minutes in Heaven:
Video version -
Ed Zaron Interview -

July 1981 Ep -
They Create Worlds Nuttings Ep -

Brigadeer General Leighton Davis builds Dynamic Air War Game
Omaha Evening World Herald August 24, 1951, pg. 29,33009,815346,00.html

Plato is telling on truants
Electronic 'Teacher' Tattles on Students Who Skip Tasks The Times-Picatune, New Oreleans, LA, August 24, 1961

ENIAC turns 25
September 1970 jump (First computer with semiconductor RAM) -

Summer CES breaks records
Playthings, August 1981, pg. 36

Video game bans sweep the USA
RePlay August 1981, pg. 25

UK anti-video game law defeated
Play Meter August 15 1981, pg. 34

Atari gets injunction against General Computer Corporation
RePlay August 1981, pg. 99
Vending Times, August 1981, pg. 46

Bally gets into the pizza biz

Drop in electronics sales begins to affect corporate bottom lines
Playthings August 1981 pg. 13
Michael Katz Interview Part 1 -
Greg Fischbach Interview Part 1 -
Greg Fischbach Interview Part 2 -

IBM launches the PC

Xerox launches the 820

TI dumps the TI99/4 for the 99/4A

Acorn advertises the BBC Micro pg. 4

Commodore prepping UK launch of the Vic pg. 8

WH Smith to sell microcomputers pg. 9

Venture Capital is investing in microcomputer software
July 1981 Ep -
Ed Zaron Interview -
Ken Williams Interview -
Michael Katz Interview Part 1 -

Creative Computing celebrates the 20th anniversary of SpaceWar!!

Frank Herbert gives computer advice

Recommended Links:
The History of How We Play:
Gaming Alexandria:
They Create Worlds:
Digital Antiquarian:
The Arcade Blogger:
Retro Asylum:
Retro Game Squad:
Playthrough Podcast:

Sound Effects by Ethan Johnson of History of How We Play and Enzo Maida.