Richard S. Levine

Writer,Software Developer,Educator


Video games recognition!

Sheldon on the "Big Bang Theory" television show often wears the Mattel Intellivision Astrosmash t-shirt.  Mike Minkoff and I were programming Intellivision "PBA Bowling" (1979-1980) when John Soul started work on "Astrosmash".  John designed the sounds for "PBA Bowling" and I tested "Astrosmash" (at one time, I had the high score).

I'm interviewed (by Ivan Penn) in the St. Petersburg Times (Florida, August 8, 2011).  The article was also picked up by Bloomberg Businessweek.

As of February 2016, my Games for Health 2009 Microsurgeon XM radio interview with ReachMD is available for listening or mp3 download.  Just click on the above logo.  There are several people interviewed in the segment, and mine is heard around 4 minutes and 35 seconds into the broadcast.   

I also did a "Microsurgeon"-related radio interview with Into Tomorrow, but it is no longer on the web.

The Mattel Handheld Bowling game I programmed in 1978 was at the Classic Gaming Expo 2010 Video Games Museum display.  I had to take a picture, and I gave a talk at the show too. 

In 1982, I gave an interview to BBC Radio.  Check out my blog too listen to their summary of the video games industry back then and my interview.

A 1982 Evening Magazine (San Francisco edition) interview I did while working at Imagic. NOTE: Uses <video> tag and will not play in every browser.

Some Games for Health 2009 images.




Business Week - April 4 1983 - Truckin'

Above is from Business Week, April 4, 1983

In 1988-1989, David Riordan at Cinemaware had CD quality audio (music and voice) produced for "Defender of the Crown".  I programmed a prototype MS-DOS CD-ROM version of the game that ran on a Hitachi CD-ROM player.  The code, still stored on the PC and not on the CD-ROM, had hooks to play the CD quality audio off the CD-ROM in timing with the game. Although this version of the game was never released, it was shown at a conference as a proof of concept and the CD-I version of the game came out a couple of years later.

The article below from Computer Gaming World (Nov 1992) mentions that Defender of the Crown (CD-I version) was the second U.S. release of a CD-ROM game.  That trivia was quoted on Wikipedia.  Note that Wikipedia also mentions that though "The Manhole" shipped on CD-ROM in 1989, "there had already been two games released in late 1988 in Japan for NEC's PC Engine game console on its CD-ROM format..."

So, although Defender of the Crown CD-I was second to ship on CD-ROM in the U.S., Defender of the Crown on CD-ROM was already in the works in 1988-1989 along with the earliest CD-ROM games.

Defender of the Crown CD trivia


TI 99/4a Microsurgeon on cover July 1983



I was a guest of and gave a talk at the Classic Gaming Expo 2010.

Ben Sawyer (co-director of the conference) and I spoke about Microsurgeon at the Games or Health 2009 conference in Boston.

In December of 1982 Fortune Magazine included Microsurgeon in their article about Video Games and IEEE Spectrum featured Microsurgeon on the cover of the December 1982 issue.