720° – Beyond The Streets

720°

Atari Games, 1986

Designed by John Salwitz and Dave Ralston

“Created by Atari Games, 720 Degrees or simply ‘720’ was an early skateboarding game that attempted to push the bounds of video games into cooler territory. The arcade cabinet itself was a tribute to MTV-obsessed youth culture, the top speakers fashioned to look like a ghettoblaster, with rad skate decals plastered throughout. The playfield was littered with graffiti hidden in the otherwise pristine pixelated environments of Skate City. One tag, DR, is undoubtedly the initials of one of the game’s designers, Dave Ralston, scrawled in blue on the Sessions ramp. There is a long and storied history of once-anonymous programmers sneaking their names or initials into games — some with elaborate ‘Easter Eggs’ buried in code, like Warren Robinett did in Adventure for the Atari VCS — but this was the first time the dev team digitally tagged a game using graffiti as their weapon of choice.”

—Van Burnham, Graffiti x Games

BEYOND THE STREETS Los Angeles, 2018. Photo by Dave Tada.