Links For December 9, 2013

No Girls Allowed: Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys.

That the concept of “girls don’t play games” exists even among children in schoolyards today has less to do with the actual numbers of players as much as it has to do with an idea that was heavily circulated from the ’90s through television commercials, magazine ads, video game box art and the media. After all, a person who grew up in the ’90s would have little or even no reference for what came before. Their first game marketing experiences would have sold a very black-and-white picture about who video games are for. But this idea is starting to break down.

Coney Island Pac-Man Machine - One of a kind

As I was being born, this 1981 stand-up cabinet and thing of analog beauty was rolling off the assembly line. Removed in great shape from its one-time home in Coney Island, it’s made its way across three different states, five different apartments (three of them upstairs), and emerged from numerous house parties unscathed. The spring-action click of the power button, the low hum of the CRT monitor, the crackles of warm static … it will make the hair on your knuckles stand up the first time you fire it up. It’s exactly as awesome to own as you always thought it would be. If you’re still reading this, that’s because you never wanted a Harley in your mid-to-late thirties: you wanted an arcade machine. And you wanted The King of classic arcade machines. You wanted a Pac-Man.

Cryptic crosswords for beginners, for dopes like me who can never make heads or tails of them.

Blue Ball Machine.