Early Digital Games Production in New Zealand
This illustrated paper reports on the early digital games industry in
New Zealand, during the late 1970s and 80s. It presents an overview of
this largely unknown history, drawing on in depth archival research, interviews
with key industry participants and collectors. It discusses the local
production of consoles, handhelds, and arcade games in this market, as
well as anomalies of distribution of game systems widely available elsewhere,
which was the context for this production. While relative isolation –
geographical and policy driven – accounts for part of the booming
manufacture during this period, the paper questions how helpful it is
to treat early local games production as just a phenomenon of the local.
While it is sometimes strategically useful, it is argued that this production
of locality can mask more complex intersections between the local and
non-local – or global – factors, the heterogenising aspects
of globalization in this period of early digital games.