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Conquer the Video Craze

[Conquer the Video Craze cover] Conquer the Video Craze was issued in 1982, at the height of arcade games’ popularity. Over a background of ambient arcade noise, Curtis Hoard, “Atari Champion finalist”, reads convoluted game tips in a slow nasal monotone.

I’ve not been able to find out much about Hoard; most of the search results point to articles about a different Curtis Hoard, a sculptor of some reknown at the University of Minnesota. Perhaps this fellow’s father? One of the few links I found about this Hoard says that he graduated from Alhambra High School in California in 1981. Perhaps he knew David Wills (“The Weatherman” from Negativland), who also attended around that time.

The liner notes talk a little about Hoard and his sad, sad life:

There are few games in the marketplace that Chris has not mastered. He has extensive experience at playing video games and diciphering [sic] their patterns and techniques of play. His analytical mind automatically envisions patterns and virtual line drawings of the games. He currently logs more than 8 hours of play per day and has been coined by his peers and friends as the “Human Video Game”.

The label, ALA Enterprises of Los Angeles, is similarly obscure. They issued a motley grab-bag of products in the late-1970s–early-1980s, including bootlegs of Memphis Slim and Canned Heat; “Dungeon Key”, a cassette game for the TI-99/4a computer; and film composer warhorse Alan Silvestri’s soundtrack for blaxploitation flick The Mack and His Pack.

I’ve always thought that between the subject matter and Hoard’s slow talking, this would make great sampling material; just snip off the introduction where he says the video game’s name, and you have a man saying things like, “As a beginner, it is better just to kill everyone as fast as you can”, utterly deadpan. At least one DJ, Canadian Kid Koala, had the same idea.

  1. Introduction
  2. Centipede
  3. Defender
  4. Stargate
  5. Dig Dug
  6. Donkey Kong
  7. Pac-Man
  8. Ms. Pac-Man
  9. Tempest

The Beastie Boys sampled this LP in the song Time To Build on To The 5 Boroughs.

I think you may be on to something with the Weatherman connection.
Samples from that LP were used on Negativland’s Over the Edge release entitled The Weatherman’s Dumb Stupid Come Out Line.

[...] Dinosaur Gardens » Conquer the Video Craze mp3s of a vinyl record “Video Craze” (tags: thingoftheday videogames) [...]

[...] Dinosaurgardens put up MP3’s of a 1982 LP teaching you how to beat the videogames of that time. The tips are read out by a particular sleep-inducing voice, which could come in handy when having trouble sleeping. Far back in the background there are weird ambient noises, which seem to be the noise from a busy arcade. And of course there’s the nice vinyl ticks and clicks to complete the experience. A nice sampling resource for weird electronic music Check it out [...]

“Right, up, right, down, right, down, left, head for the fruit”

Vroegah had je nog geen GameFAQs. Zat je vast in een spel, dan was je meestal aangewezen op de anderen die bij het spel rondzwierven. In de speelhal natuurlijk. Of je schafte in 1982 de vinylplaat Conquer the Video Craze…

1:16 of the Dig Dug track is sampled in something too. “However, as a beginner it’s best to just kill everyone as fast as you can by using the pump button”. I think it’s a Kid Koala, or maybe a Jurassic Five track.

[...] Cool Stuff: Conquer the Video Craze – someone dug up an old record of some dude giving advice on how to beat classic games, way back when classic games were still called contemporary games. Chicken and Egg Question finally solved – take that, philosophy! [...]

[...] Read the post here. [...]

I have this record, and played at least one cut on Shockwave Radio Theater (a Mpls-based, science fiction humor radio program on a non-profit sation, still going after 28 years). The basic problems is, as you say, it’s awful.

[...] Dinosaur Gardens » Conquer the Video Craze ‘Audiobook’ of retro arcade game tips. Sampled by the Beastie Boys. (tagged: audio culture funny games gaming geek history howto music readme retro video wtf) [...]

[...] (Conquer the Video Craze – Full mp3 album) [...]

[...] Conquer The Video Craze or how to make Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Defender, and Centipede mind-numbingly boring. 06/07/06 10:31 AM | Music, Games, Weird | 80s, Atari, funny [...]

[...] when I stumbled across the record in it’s entirety at Dinosaur Gardens (download the whole thing here) last [...]

[...] to “Conquer the Video Craze”, a record of videogame hints from [...]


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