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Berzerk

How Many People Has the Berzerk Arcade Game Killed?

The Berzerk arcade cabinet is a fascinating piece of video game history. It was one of the first games to use voice synthesis, which was an insanely expensive process back in 1980. In fact, it’s estimated that Berzerk‘s 30-word vocabulary cost $1,000 per word to produce due to its expensive Linear Predictive Coding. The game was also notable for introducing the world to “Evil Otto,” an antagonistic smiley face that would chase the player down if he or she spent too much time in a single panel of the maze. (It’s no coincidence that Evil Otto shares a surname with Dave Otto, a security officer who had worked with Berzerk designer Alan McNeil.) Perhaps the most macabre piece of trivia about this arcade game, however, is that it’s infamously known as the first arcade game to be tied to the death of its players.…
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