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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Janey Thomson’s Marathon

Janey Thomson’ Marathon

My third E4 game has gone live!

In 1984 NiNCOM released the arcade game Janey Thomson’s Marathon to tie in with the promising US long distance runner’s imminent appearance at the Los Angeles Games.

However, its gruelling gameplay led to reports of children being hospitalised with exhaustion. Parents in Idaho and Florida sued NiNCOM, settling out of court the following year for undisclosed sums.

It also proved a disastrous commercial failure, partly due to the potential length of each attempt but also Thomson’s withdrawal from the Games after an agonising shoulder injury was sustained playing the game at a promotional event (she never ran competitively again).

NiNCOM yanked it from arcades and at the subsequent press conference a sobbing executive promised the destruction of all circuit boards to “flush away the stench of failure”.

Now a copy secretly kept by an employee has come to light and via the magic of emulation we can bring this lost classic to a new generation.

Music is again by the ever-reliable Tom Kincaid, along with vocal snippets from Emily Lewis-Dunn.


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