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Ring in the New Year With Some Very Old Broadcast Journalism

Ring in the New Year With Some Very Old Broadcast Journalism (photo)

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I was desperately fishing about for an appropriate final post for 2010 when I stumbled upon this lovely bit of nostalgia just posted on YouTube. It’s a special report on the growing video game phenomenon which aired sometime in 1982 — nearly thirty freakin’ years ago. As spectacularly-coiffed anchorwoman Tawny Little of KABC’s Eyewitness News in Los Angeles states with some certainty, “video games are the latest craze to sweep the country and most of the world, too.” Indeed, Tawny, indeed.

This crisply-encoded clip bursts with awkwardly-phrased, once-eye-opening factoids like, “one study estimates that we’ve spent 75,000 man-years doing this,” “these games would not be any fun at all if there were no sound,” and my personal favorite, “war games are very big right now.” The special report endeavors to delve deep into the video game industry and its associated economics, focusing on pioneering old-school producers like Midway and Taito (Obviously, the report mostly addresses arcade machines, not the exceedingly convenient console culture we’re used to today.) There’s even a segment on that hot new movie about video games, “Tron” — the original “Tron.”

Of course, no exposé about video games, now or ever, would be complete without a suitably sensationalistic exploration of the many dangers. I’d rather not give too much away, but about eight minutes into the video, the report zeroes in on that most terrifying pandemic: “Pac Man Wrist.” That’s nothing compared to the risk of psychological dependence, as expounded upon by psychiatrist and John C. Reilly impersonator Dr. Robert Alpern, who advises that concerned parents should visit arcades to find out exactly what all the fuss is about.

But it’s the clip’s narrator, investigative journalist and disembodied voice Josh Littman, who delivers the most damning commentary on the growing frenzy over digital entertainment. “Video games, in a sense, are addictive,” says Little, “Not like drugs, more like the need to jog.” Oh, the horror.

Thanks to YouTuber shertz43 for posting the clip, and Happy New Year, everyone.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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