Monday, January 29, 2018

Todd Rogers - A Funny Thing Happened at a Video Game Convention

I've known video gamer Todd Rogers since I met him at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas more than a decade ago. He introduced himself and was very friendly. As many of you know, he’s been accused of fudging his scores on various games, most notably Dragster for the Atari 2600. It’s not looking good for him, and he’s been banished from the Twin Galaxies website.

At the 2015 Classic Game Fest in Austin, we posed for a pic of me holding a couple of copies of Dragster I had for sale at my booth, and him with a copy of my “100 Greatest” book. As always, Todd was friendly, but then something strange happened at the convention a couple of hours later.

I took a break from my table to go to the restroom, leaving my son Ryan to man the booth solo, and when I came back, Ryan handed me the aforementioned Dragster cartridges. Todd had come back by while I was gone and signed and dated them with a sharpie without asking. I was stunned and a little irritated. Who does such a thing?

I was tempted to confront Todd and tell him that the vast majority of the people at a typical video game convention has no idea who he is (even though he is well known within the hardcore retro gamer community), and that scrawling black all over my games was uncool. But he had always been nice to me in the past, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I guess I kinda felt sorry for him. Plus, he meant well and thought he was doing me a favor as he seemed to think his autograph would make the games more valuable. (Turns out he was right, in light of the post-scandal eBay price I received for the cartridge. I included the certificate below to give the game some provenance.)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Author Meet & Greet - Feb. 10 - Game Over Videogames Arlington, TX

Author Meet & Greet! 
On Feb. 10 from 2:00 to 5:00, I'll be at Game Over Videogames in Arlington, Texas, selling and autographing my books. If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and are interested in a signed book, or you just want to talk retro gaming, come on by.

You can show interest or say you are going to the event on Facebook HEREHope to see you there!

Game Over Videogames
4648 S Cooper St #240
Arlington, TX 76017
(817) 468-426

RIP Curtis Newton - My Friend and Podcasting Partner

A year ago today my wife and I were headed to a press event at Nerdvana restaurant and bar in Frisco, Texas, about 45 minutes from my house. Gear Box video game company owner Randy Pitchford was going to be there (his wife owns the place), as was comedian Penn Jillette.

We were excited and enjoyed the drive out (these types of media things are usually a lot of fun), until we were just a few miles away and got the kind of phone call you never want to get. Curtis’s dear friend Tami gave us the bad news: Curtis had died.
Curtis, my good friend and podcasting partner. Curtis, the tall, loud, enthusiastic guy who wanted you to enjoy life just as much as he did. Curtis, who loved Star Wars, Metallica, the Dallas Cowboys, and video games (especially the PlayStation 4 and his gamer buddies). Curtis, who loved his family and friends with a passion and showed it in his smile and words (loud words) every time you saw him. Curtis, whose three beautiful and intelligent daughters meant the world to him. Curtis, who died way too young at 43.

With Curtis’s death, my YouTube ambitions pretty much died with him. I thought we had a pretty good thing going, and Curtis had big plans for the podcast (post production, music, special guests, gameplay footage, etc.), but now we’ll never know. Far more importantly, I lost a good friend and colleague.

RIP, Curtis. I miss your loud voice (did I mention he was loud?), your big laugh, and your enthusiasm for life and video games. I miss bagging on you during our podcast, going to conventions together, and talking and laughing about all of the goings on in the world of nerdy pop culture. I never even got to scoreboard you on how Nintendo sent me a Switch and some games. That would have been a fun episode.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Arcade and Other Strange Tales - SIGNED COPIES NOW AVAILABLE

My new book, The Arcade and Other Strange Tales, is now available. For a limited time, buy a copy direct from me and I will immediately send you a digital copy (PDF) for FREE! Plus, I will autograph the book and offer discounted U.S. shipping at just $2 (for a total of $11.95). Send $11.95 PayPal to brettw105[at], and I will send you a signed physical copy and a digital copy. (Be sure and use the @ symbol instead of [a]). Thanks!

You can read the first few pages on Amazon by clicking HERE.

The Arcade and Other Strange Tales takes readers down a rabbit hole of fear, wonder and imagination. From the nostalgic "The Arcade" to the Orwellian “Filtered Future” and “What Do They Do While We Sleep?” to the deadly dark “Strange Children” and “Wormboy,” this book will keep anyone with a taste for "stranger things" reading late into the night (and the next night and the next).

The book has two reviews on Amazon so far:

"This collection of tales is a diverse, rich treasure trove for fans of dark fiction. Whether your taste is for sci-fi, fantasy, or horror, Weiss has something here for you. He engages each of these areas with originality and a marked intellectual approach. Fans of all three genres will devour this volume with sheer delight. And these stories are far above mere escapist mind candy--Weiss explores philosophical and existential themes without his material coming across as contrived or pretentious. These tales have something substantive to say and do more than just entertain--they also provoke thoughtful reflection.

"Stylistically, Weiss combines elements reminiscent of Poe, Lovecraft, Bradbury, Asimov, and Shelley--names I don't drop lightly. With memorable characters, authentic dialogue, optimal pacing, and plot twists that surprise while avoiding the deus ex machina pitfall, this collection of short stories is well worth your time. Highly recommended." - Jeremy H.

"Quirky, eclectic, thought-provoking collection of short fiction stories and several non-fiction entries related to video games and writing. Brett Weiss' tales are reminiscent of Vonnegut, Ellison and other masters of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. His brief introduction to each tale allows the reader insight into his inspirations. The non-fiction articles were right up my alley as a child of the 70s and 80s who watched the beginnings of the video game craze. Several of the tales were top-notch, but a couple left me not quite satisfied, hence the 4 star rating." - LAR

Friday, January 19, 2018

My Latest for CultureMap Fort Worth - PopNerdTV

Check out my latest for PopNerdTV, a fun website and YouTube channel catering to movie, comic book, and video game fans. You can read it HERE.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Video Game Dads Podcast Interview

I was on the Video Game Dads Podcast recently. We talk about my video game books and my background in gaming. It was a blast and a distinct honor being on the show. Listen in at the 1:27 mark for my interview, or listen to the entire show for more content. You can check it out HERE.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

My Appearance on Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon -- Encyclopedia of KISS Interview

I had the distinct honor of being on Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon, a terrific podcast by a music industry insider. We talk about one of our favorite rock bands, KISS, and about my book, Encyclopedia of KISS. My interview is broken up into two segments--listen in at the 2:20 mark and then skip ahead to the 1:03:00 mark (or just listen to the whole thing for other cool content). One thing I misspoke about was meeting KISS during the 1990s. I actually meant the mid-late 1980s. Listen to the interview HERE.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Digital Versions of My Books

Print is far from dead, but most of my books do have digital versions. You can "look inside" the books on Amazon and get more info by clicking on the links below:

Check out the digital version of The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 by clicking HERE.

Check out the digital version of Retro Pop Culture A to Z by clicking HERE.

Check out the digital version of Classic Home Video Games 1972-1984 by clicking HERE.

Check out the digital version of Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 by clicking HERE.

Check out the digital version of Classic Home Video Games 1989-1990 by clicking HERE.

And you can check out the digital version of my KISS Encyclopedia by clicking HERE.