I love really early racing videogames. So much so that I even like making up ones that never existed. In fact, a ridiculous ad I made for one driving game that never existed was used in a recent Cracked article about advertising. And, from what I can tell, it was taken as real. This makes me quite happy.
I made the ad years ago as part of a tribute to the old Atari 2600 I worked on with my old comedy group, in my life before the glamourous, drugs/sex/cars world of auto journalism. The ad was for a combination Atari cartridge/8-track of a racing game called Slow Ride, after the Foghat song that was on the 8-track side of the game. Here's the description:
From its conception in 1965, the eight-track was the music format of choice for the automotive industry. Yet in 1977, the eight-track was knocked off its throne by the cassette. Eight-track distributors were desperate to reclaim its role. But how?
Along came the Atari 2600. Suddenly, the eight-track industry saw a way that they could pass the cassette, by including Atari games based on the artists or songs on the eight-track. The interactive eight-track was born.
The interactive 8-track looked like the average 8-track, except at the bottom, where the Atari cartridge was connected. These 8-tracks, or "double-enders" as the music/video game fanatics called them, were an instant success and proceeded to change the music industry for at least a couple of weeks.
Like most technical and philosophical breakthroughs in the 1970s, the double-enders were ushered in by the most gifted and savvy group of the decade: Foghat.
When the Foghat Live double-ender hit the market, most people didn't know that they were looking at the new face of interactive music. The album was a tour-de-force of classic Foghat tunes, but what really "turned this up to 11" was the inclusion of the "Slow Ride" game. In "Slow Ride," two players faced off in an anti-drag race; whichever player finished the race in the worst time was the "Slow Rider" and won the game.
The double-ender was a hit. Magazines like Rolling Stone and Gamers Monthly hailed the Foghat Live 8-track as the start of the new music and video game revolution. And it was, for the next four years at least, but in the end it was not enough to save the interactive 8-track from the trash heap of nostalgia.
Ridiculous, right? Of course it is.
This Cracked article about exaggerated and absurd expressions of people in ads found it ridiculous as well, but not for the Foghat/Atari mashup content — it was for the insane expressions of the people in the ad.
And they're not wrong — the original ad I modified into the fake ad, for an Atari cartridge-selector jukebox thing, does absolutely have the most insane expressions of rampant, unmitigated, improbable joy you're ever likely to see outside of an asylum.
I think Cracked is a great site with consistently good articles, so I'm really delighted to see this was taken as real there. Also, it makes me realize that as sort of reverse-drag race slow-drive sort of game would be either really sublime or really awful. Or both.