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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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Sep 15, 2021

Donkey Kong comes to Nintendo's rescue
Software retailing is coming to a mall near you
Computer Chronicles brings tech to TV

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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And if you like what we are doing here at the podcast, don't forget to like us on your podcasting app of choice, YouTube, and/or support us on patreon!

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Time Codes:
7 Minutes in Heaven: 09:38
Corrections: 19:11
Time Jump: 36:20

7 Minutes in Heaven:
Video version -
Ed Zaron Interview -
Longplay with sound samples -
Champion of the Raj - 7 Minutes in Heaven -

August 1981 Ep -
Ed Zaron Interview -
November 1978 Jump -

UK computer industry on the fritz

Frogger goes head-to-head with Donkey Kong
Vending Times, Sept. 1981, pg. 68

Casual gamers may be outnumbering the hardcore
Play Meter, Sept. 15, 1981, pg. 17
AMOA 1980 Special Ep -

Marcos bans video games

UK's Century Electronics announces interchangeable arcade system
Play Meter, Sept. 15, 1981, pg. 25
Jim Trucano Interview -

Mattel Electronics becomes independent unit
Toy & Hobby World Sept. 1981
Don Daglow Interview Part 1 -

Atari 2nd quarter revenue rises 86%
Playthings Sept. 1981, pg. 13
Playthings Sept. 1981, pg. 22

Revenue records for Toys R Us, Coleco
Toy & Hobby World Sept. 1981
They Create Worlds - The Visions of Coleco Part 1
Michael Katz Interview Part 1 -

Apple sales triple
July 1979 Jump -

Exidy exits the home computer market
Replay Sept. 1981, pg. 20

NY Times profiles pervasiveness of computer tech in Japan

The dedicated software retailer is born pg. 79
Ken Williams Interview -
Ed Zaron Interview -

Sesame Street is coming to the Apple ii
June 1979 Jump -

Softporn ad appears in Softalk

Softline magazine debuts

The Computer Chronicles premieres
Computer Chronicles on YouTube -
Computer Chronicles Amiga and Atari ST Episode -
Computer Chronicles Jack Tramiel -

Time magazine profiles The People's Court,33009,924829,00.html
Rain Man - People's Court clip -

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.