Old-schoold handheld electronic games
What does handheld electronic game such as Parker Brother's Split Second can teach us? The curious box/enclosure? the super straight select-start-4-arrows buttons? the rockin' analogic screen? the okay-for left-handed and okay for right-handed design? the symmetry of the system with sound on one part and display on the other?
Maybe it's the whole experience or even the expectations back in the days, when playing with very near 3x15 red matrix was like being immersed in Tron. What impresses me now is the "one-device = one game/purpose" equation. The interface was so rough and basic that you could only play one sort of game. It was even crazier with Nintendo handheld a la Donkey Kong since part of the level design was DRAWN and PRINTED on the screen. Would there still be devices like this? Or only converged phones?
Very curiously, this sort of electronic games have always received a very low interest from both thinkers and academics. In the book "Electronic Plastic (see also here), the authors of that nice compendium state how "the recourse to supposedly primitive games leads us back to the creative source of the contemporary entertainment revolution" and that these game provide as much fun as recent Sony or Nintendo platforms.