My interview with Arnie Katz is now up at Gamasutra.
If you don’t know who Arnie Katz might be, here is the intro I wrote for the interview:
Arnie Katz was a pioneer of video game journalism. In the late
1970s he, along with Bill Kunkel, started Arcade Alley in Video Magazine, the
first column about video games in a major publication. Then, in 1981, Katz along
with his wife Joyce Worley and Kunkel started Electronic Games magazine, the
first ever magazine dedicated entirely to video games.
Inside the pages of Electronic Games, Katz, Kunkel [also interviewed by Gamasutra in recent years], and Worley
invented video game journalism. The format of the magazine, letters, reviews,
previews, features and many other types of content, while frequently borrowed
from established traditions of magazine publishing, were molded to the subject
of video games for the first time.
Arnie Katz was the editor of Electronic Games, and many fans saw
the world of Golden Age video games through the eye of his editorials, which
began each issue of Electronic Games. Words such as “playfield”, “shoot-em-up”
and many others entered the lexicon of video game fans after being invented or
popularized in the pages of Electronic Games Magazine.
While there were other
sources, at no other time in the history of video games has a single fountain
of ideas and knowledge like Electronic Games led the charge in hearts of minds of
so many people.
After Electronic Games ended in 1985, Katz, Kunkel, and Worley
continued as consultants to the video game industry, and worked on later
publications such as Video Games & Computer Entertainment and the ’90s revival
of Electronic Games.
By the 21st century, however, the pioneering mind of
Arnie Katz had left the video game world completely. His partner, Bill Kunkel,
has continued to consult for game companies, teach game design classes, and
write about new and old games on the internet. He also wrote a book, Confessions
of the Game Doctor, which is required reading for anyone who fancies themselves
a student of video game history.
However, Arnie Katz ostensibly the inventor of the medium of
video game criticism has remained relatively quiet in the same time. Gamasutra
caught-up with him a few months ago, and he agreed to talk about the past,
present, and future of the video game industry.
You can read the full interview here.