By Harry McCracken | Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 2:03 am
I haven’t thought about Bill Kunkel, Arnie Katz, or Electronic Games magazine in years, but I loved it back in the day and was saddened to hear of Kunkel’s death in this New York Times obituary:
Mr. Kunkel and his friend Arnie Katz are widely credited with starting the first published gaming column, called “Arcade Alley,” which began appearing in Video magazine in 1978.
The column, a monthly look at new video game hardware and software, drew more readers as home gaming systems became popular in the in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1981, around two million home systems were in use in the United States.
To cater to those new consumers, Mr. Kunkel and Mr. Katz teamed up with Joyce Worley to start a monthly magazine, Electronic Games, which had a circulation of more than 250,000 at its peak. The magazine coined descriptive terms like “screenshot,” for a still image of a game, and “play mechanics,” for the way a game is played.