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July 28, 2021

Looking at the Defining Moments in Video Game History with William Hunter

Looking at the Defining Moments in Video Game History with William Hunter

In 1998, Willliam Hunter discovered a classic video games emulator, MAME. He had a great time playing games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Defender. After a while, curiosity kicked in, and he asked himself where all these games came from, how they came about, and who made them. Although the internet was a different place back then, William couldn't find a website that told the story he wanted to read, so he decided to make one himself. 

William Hunter is the creator of The Dot Eaters, one of the most trusted sources of information about the history of video games. His website has been referenced in many books about video games, and many Colleges and Universities check on it for relevant content. William developed the website for over 15 years to tell the stories of the games, systems, and individuals that set the cornerstones of the gaming industry as we know it today. 

In this episode, we talk about the origins of The Dot Eater, the particular backstory of the website's name, and William's relationship with video games. William kindly shared details of how he runs the website as a one-man-show and lots of curious facts about video games and the origin of companies like Activision and Electronic Arts. We also talk about the evolution of video games companies like Attari and what happens when companies created by people passionate about technology and games fall into business people's hands. 

Some Questions I Ask:

  • For the audience, could you talk about your relationship with gaming? (1:26)
  • Can you tell us how you got started in gaming? (2:58)
  • What made you decide to begin compiling gaming history? (5:22)
  • What made you decide to distribute this knowledge? (13:52)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How William manages to run The Dot Eaters by himself (5:34)
  • William shares a bit of PONG's story and describes the realm of gaming back then in the '80s (11:12)
  • A bit of background and the beginnings of Activision and Electronic Arts (17:24)
  • Elevator Action. The perfect combination between game skills and luck (27:55)
  • What William sees as a problem with VR and where he thinks the augmented reality technology will head in the following years (47:43)


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