A “crude table-tennis arcade game” called Pong and the birth of the video game industry.
A father and daughter engage in an elaborate deception in a roadside diner.
"I followed him, stretching my legs to match his stride. I swung my arms, too, catching the shiny rhythm of the way he walked when he was excited about something. I copied the bounce in his step. Even though I was just an eleven-year-old girl, I promised myself that I, too, would someday ride trains and sit around campfires listening to old hobos telling stories. Even if I had to dress like a man to do it, I wanted that kind of experience, even more than being a war nurse. Before he got to the front door, I caught up. 'Let’s play deaf again.' 'Okay, squirt.' He zippered his lips with his fingers. 'Mum’s the word.'"
In this curious world, a young couple find their lives filled with strange cats and a consuming video game.
"They did not stroll alone. When they left the apartment they’d see the marmalade perched beside a newspaper stand across the street or slinking in through the complex door as they walked out. Along with the cosmopolitan pigeons and robins, and the urban rats and mad squirrels, cats were stationed at odd intervals on their meandering route. One night an olive green and basalt cat sat perched on its haunches in the ruby umbrella of light cast by a low street lamp on Carmine St. Laura and Eric would swear that the same cat had sat as still as stone on the corner of Commerce St. and Cherry Lane the evening before. In a shadowed alcove on Bedford St. a giant tabby guarded a litter of three sable kittens, its marble eyes mirroring the random lights of the city night."
Friendship between two quirky outsiders turns into a tumultuous love.
"He got her screenname from one of the other members of the group and started sending her jokes and one-liners, nothing too creepy or personal. Nothing threatening. He told her that he was part of their little group. He told her to guess who he was. There was no fear in this. Norm was a true original. He’d been locked away so long that he had no real sense of how others viewed him."
Don DeLillo's first story collection, The Angel Esmeralda, was recently published, but it doesn't contain this early gem about a compulsive sports gambler.
"He will curse the announcers for their stupidity, their cheerfulness, the commercials they must read and the public service messages they are inclined to givemessages about puppet shows at Gimbels or talks sponsored by the Young Lawyers' Committee of the New York County Associationalways when CJ is waiting for a crucial score. It is in these ways that bureaucracy crushes the dreamer. "
Aftermath of a hookup, told in the form of an interactive fiction game.
"It is possible that you did not sleep with her, but here she is, next to you, wearing your clothes. She also has your socks, a pristine new pair of tube socks, on her hands. That was probably enormously funny at the time. Some other time. Not at all funny now, what with you being naked. There are closed doors to the EAST and NORTH."
A grandmaster on the computers that have bested him and how we have misunderstood the implications of artificial intelligence.
How virtual worlds like Ultima Online form economies and the sellers who make a living in digital goods.
How the mind behind Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto plans to push gaming further.
Movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed to connect with viewers, but video games on the topic have broken sales records.
A game called Spacewar is developed by early computer engineers in their spare time, improved in University comp-sci labs, and ultimately made available in coffeeshops for ten cents per game.