The Racing Games Bible

This 7,000-word feature, originally partly published in GamesTM magazine, was an odd one. GamesTM commissioned it as part of their long-running "Bible" series of all-encompassing guides to gaming genres, and sent the most rigid copy template I've ever seen in my career (eg all the boxouts like "The Iconic Character" are predefined).

I duly submitted the piece as commissioned, making only one small alteration to the template, which was entirely necessary both for space and practical reasons. Nobody raised any issues at that point, so several weeks later when it was published I was greatly surprised to see it bumped to the Retro section of the mag, cut down to six pages (from the original eight), and now billed as a vague sort of history of old racing games instead of a "Bible" piece.

I sent them an email essentially reading "Huh?", got back a reply making what in my view were mostly very unfair and sometimes contradictory complaints ("It's too dry and impersonal… there's too much personal opinion in it"), sent back a response essentially reading "Huh?" and that was the end of that. They paid the full original fee, so hey ho.

This, then, is the feature that should have appeared, with all the missing bits restored, which means there are a good few thousand words of this piece that have never been seen before by anyone except WoS subscribers.

It's very boxout-heavy, and the way it's laid out was the best solution I could come up with for WoS, so decide for yourselves whether to read all the main copy before going back and reading the boxed-out sections, or whatnot.

As a special bonus, incidentally, this WoSblog entry exclusively features some awesome publicity shots of Sega's 1980 classic Monaco GP, which in many senses is still my favourite racing game of all time.

As you can see, Sega really pulled out all the stops to convey the game's sense of white-knuckle excitement and the glamour of the Monaco setting, as well as showing just how cool and hip these modern new videogames were.


2 Responses to “The Racing Games Bible”

  1. Stu, 
    That cocktail (aka 'tabletop') driving cabinet picture you've got there, is amazing. I've never seen that pic before. 
    Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  2. Among old racing/driving games, I find <a href="">Enduro</a&gt; for the Atari 2600 holds up pretty well. I only played it for the first time in the last several years, and found it pretty exciting. The way they render the edges of the road and a ton of cars onscreen all at once without any slowdown or flickering is amazing. Great sense of speed. And of course the changing conditions and time keep things interesting.

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