September 9, 2004

Overview of Resources at the VGRF

by Nick Montfort · , 1:11 pm

The Video Game Research Facility Sure, we don’t have a fancy logo, but the Video Game Research Facility does its part to advance the field of game studies. Thanks to the Dreamcast, there’s access to the original versions of Jet Grind Radio, Rez, Shenmue, and other fine blockbuster commercial games, not to mention the latest and most advanced wave of homebrew console games. The Atari Jaguar (upper right) turns out to not be good for much except Tempest 2000, although there are several other cartridges available, should any scholars at want to investigate how console game development can go horribly awry. The VGRF also features a Sony Playstation (bottom middle) for some 32-bit tomb raiding and for light-gun-enabled alien-killing. The Apple //c, seen directly beneath the authentic mid-1980s video output device, offers access to some 1980s home computer video gaming. Finally, the Atari 2600 Jr. (bottom left, atop the most frequently-accessed cartridges) provides a essential platform for historical research, particularly given the ready supply of controllers (trackball for Centipede and Missile Command, two pairs of paddles for four-player Warlords) and the library of more than 100 carts. It also offers a good way to negotiate power relationships with visiting scholars.

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