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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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The Locked File Cabinet

In July of 1984, the remaining shreds of Atari were purchased by Jack “Business is war” Trameil, who had destroyed Atari with his price wars using the Commodore 64.

This gentleman sported one of the more abrasive personalities in the business and was not well loved. But he did know how to cut costs ruthlessly. The first thing Jack did upon moving in was to hold a huge auction of all the furnishings in the now-unpopulated buildings. Tables, chairs, filing cabinets—everything went in an effort to gather up a little cash. Around 2:00 on the day of the sale, I got a phone call from a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News. He told me that a local small businesswoman had purchased, for $125, a locked filing cabinet whose keys ...

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