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Vintage Games by Matt Barton, Bill Loguidice

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14

POLE POSITION (1982): WHERE THE RASTER MEETS THE ROAD

“Prepare to qualify!” What gamer of the 1980s could forget these words? Certainly none of those whose souls still carry some trace of rubber, some hint of those skid marks left there by Namco's Pole Position.1

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Screenshot from the Japanese version of Pole Position. Note the billboard advertising a brand of cigarettes. When the game made it to the United States, the billboards were changed to advertisements of other games.

Introduced to the United States by Atari in 1982, Pole Position is arguably the most important racing game ever made. Although it wasn't the first, it was far more successful ...

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