Tag Archives: video games

Spielberg on Video Games – Pong, JAWS, Rock Band, Boom Blox

“I was making Jaws and living on Martha’s Vineyard. Somebody plugged in a coin op game called Pong at the merry-go-round in Oak Bluffs. I remember Richard Dreyfus and I, playing Pong together, got hooked. After shooting every day we’d come back and unwind by playing Pong. That got me into the whole videogaming world.”

One of this year’s best games is Boom Blox for the Nintendo Wii, which was conceived and designed by Steven Spielberg in collaboration with Electronic Arts. We got the chance to talk with the famed director about his motivation for making a game that didn’t tell a story, his own experience playing videogames, and his first glimpse of the videogame industry 35 years ago.

Can you tell me about the genesis of the idea you pitched to Electronic Arts that became Boom Blox?

After one of the meetings on our more complicated game I’m making, I was walking to my car with the team leader and I said I’ve got this idea for the Wii platform. I’d been so impressed with the interactivity it gives you, the rush where you’re the cause and you get to see the effect. So I pitched a game of just knocking blocks down. It’s a staple in every household, with three dimensional physical blocks. But it’s in all homes with kids and I thought it could be almost a sporting activity for the Wii. You would get awards based on a point system based on your skill.

I understand that you’ve been a Boom Blox household since your family was able to try a prototype early on. Is that correct?

That’s correct. My kids had a chance to not only tackle it, but to give me input.

What was their reaction when they first tried it?

They were late for dinner. We had to call them like five times to get them out of the family room to come eat. I figured at least I’d sold my family because I couldn’t get them out of the room.

In Boom Blox, some people are more inclined to knocking things over by throwing balls, and others like the mounting dread of the Jenga-like mode where you take out one piece at a time until it falls over. Do you have a favorite mode yourself?

My kids like to grab pieces and very carefully pull them out. But I like the knocking stuff down. I’d been playing blocks all my life with all seven of my kids as they were growing up. That’s how I came up with the game. That was going to be the draw, to get parents and kids in the same space together, finally playing a game together that would appeal to adults as well as kids…

Read the rest of the article here:  A Close Encounter with Steven Spielberg

JAWS Unleashed

JAWS Unleashed is available for PC, XBOX, and Playstation 2


Game Background:

JAWS broke all box office records to become one of the highest grossing films of its time. The movie has had a lasting impact spanning decades and now JAWS Unleashed is poised to recapture the horror of being preyed upon by the most feared creature in the ocean. JAWS Unleashed recreates scenes and character spinoffs from the movie while allowing the player to experience the JAWS universe from a unique perspective—that of the Great White Shark.

Game Storyline:

Amity Island is growing, making corporate connections with prestigious companies like Environplus to improve the Island’s economy. Unfortunately the increased population around the Island and recent industrial activity has also attracted YOU–one of Earth’s most fearsome creatures–a Great White Shark. When the Environplus CEO’s son falls prey to your deadly attacks, the CEO hires renowned shark hunter Cruz Ruddock to track and kill you. Meanwhile, Marine Biologist Michael Brody tries to capture you for research. Can Ruddock and Brody stop you from wreaking havoc before the 4th of July celebration?

Game Features:

Players take control of Jaws the Great White Shark while playing out themes and in locations from the JAWS film universe

More than 10 meticulously detailed, destructible environments, each with unique designs and intense action

Unleash real-time damage on intelligent enemies, vehicles and structures

Perform a variety of stunning underwater, surface and air attacks via a user-friendly combat system

Dismemberment engine provides multiple points of disconnection

Follow story-based missions or choose to freely roam the island and its surroundings wreaking havoc

Encounter multiple side missions/challenges including timed destruction, stealth, chase and others

Face fearsome arena bosses including killer whales, giant squid, powerful boats and more

See your victims before they know you’re coming and target lock on enemies from afar with Shark Vision

Created by Appaloosa Interactive, developer of the award-winning Ecco the Dolphin series.

JAWS Unleashed is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13). Please consult www.filmratings.com or www.parentalguide.org for more information.

JAWS Video Games

In the 80s, video game companies decided to release a lot of games that were based on movies. You could reenact scenes from movies like Star Wars, E.T., Ghostbusters, and believe it or not, Porky’s.

JAWS was one of the many movies that got the video game treatment. Here are screenshots from two JAWS video games. You can play these games today with the help of emulators, which are pretty easy to find on the web. Happy hunting!

UPDATE: Majesco released JAWS Unleashed in 2006, a game in which you get to play as the shark. Check out the trailer and some screens on the JAWS Unleashed page.

The Nintendo Game – by LJN (1987)

The Atari ST Game – by Screen 7 Productions

Thanks to S. Michael Simms (Smikes) for locating this game!

The Atari Arcade Game

Again, thanks to S. Michael Simms (Smikes) for locating info on this game!

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