SANTA MONICA, Calif.--There was a time, not all that long ago, when the only way to play a decent (or indeed most any) "computer game" was to seek one out at a local pizza parlor or bowling alley--or, if you were lucky and your neighborhood had been blessed with such an establishment, the local arcade.
In fact, computer games weren't computer games yet. They were video games, or arcade games.
I can remember the excitement my friends and I felt when our neighborhood suddenly witnessed the arrival of a "real" video arcade. Space Invaders had been around for a while by then (how cool was it that the Pretenders had recorded an instrumental in its honor, complete with a sampling of the game's throbbing, threatening sound effects?). But the newly opened Louie's brought us a startling array of bright, beeping, and then-revolutionary games with strange and thrilling names like Pac-Man and Centipede.… Read more