All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture
Harold Goldberg. Three Rivers Press, 2011
Through the stories of gaming's greatest innovations and most beloved creations, journalist Harold Goldberg captures the creativity, controversy–and passion–behind the videogame's meteoric rise to the top of the pop-culture pantheon. Over the last fifty years, video games have grown from curiosities to fads to trends to one of the world's most popular forms of mass entertainment. But as the gaming industry grows in numerous directions and everyone talks about the advance of the moment, few explore and seek to understand the forces behind this profound evolution. How did we get from Space Invaders to Grand Theft Auto? How exactly did gaming become a $50 billion industry and a dominant pop culture form? What are the stories, the people, the innovations, and the fascinations behind this incredible growth? Through extensive interviews with gaming's greatest innovators, both its icons and those unfairly forgotten by history, All Your Base Are Belong To Us sets out to answer these questions, exposing the creativity, odd theories–and passion–behind the twenty-first century's fastest-growing medium.
Arcade Fever: The Fan's Guide to the Golden Age of Video Games
John Sellers. Running Press, 2001
Arcade Fever is a full-color illustrated history of video arcade games, with tributes to more than 50 classic games like Pong, Space Invaders, Pac Man, Q-Bert, Frogger, and TRON. Learn which game caused a yen shortage in Japan – and which games inspired breakfast cereals, Saturday-morning cartoons, episodes of Seinfeld,and #1 pop-music singles. Meet the visionary musicians, writers, animators, cabinet artists, and other unsung heroes of the video game industry. The perfect gift for anyone who spent their childhood in video arcades, Arcade Fever is a pop-culture nostalgia trip you won't want to miss!
Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984: A Complete Reference Guide
Brett Weiss. McFarland & Company, 2007
Provides a guide to popular video games of the 1970s and early 1980s, covering virtually every official US release for programmable home game consoles of the pre - Nintendo NES era. This work contains chapters which include a history and description of the game system and a complete listing of video games released for that console.
Classic Home Video Games, 1985-1988: A Complete Reference Guide
Brett Weiss. McFarland & Company, 2009
This thoroughly researched reference work provides a comprehensive guide to popular and obscure video games of the 1970s and early 1980s, covering virtually every official United States release for programmable home game consoles of the pre?Nintendo NES era. Organized alphabetically by console brand, each chapter includes a history and description of the game system, followed by substantive, encyclopedia-style entries for every game released for that console, regardless of when the game was produced. Each video game entry includes publisher/developer information and the release year, along with a detailed description and, frequently, the author's critique. A glossary provides a helpful guide to the classic video game genres and terms referenced throughout the work. An appendix lists a number of ?homebrew? titles that have been created by fans and amateur programmers and are available for download or purchase.
Classic Home Video Games, 1989-1990: A Complete Guide to Sega Genesis, Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16 Games
Brett Weiss. McFarland & Company, 2011
The third in a series about home video games, this detailed reference work features descriptions and reviews of every official U.S. released game for the Neo Geo, Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16, which, in 1989, ushered in the 16-bit era of gaming. Organized alphabetically by console brand, each chapter includes a description of the game system followed by substantive entries for every game released for that console. Video game entries include historical information, gameplay details, the author s critique, and, when appropriate, comparisons to similar games. Appendices list and offer brief descriptions of all the games for the Atari Lynx and Nintendo Game Boy, and catalogue and describe the add-ons to the consoles covered herein Neo Geo CD, Sega CD, Sega 32X and TurboGrafx-CD.
Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games
Matt Barton. A.K.Peters, 2008
Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a special genre of computer games that bring the tabletop role-playing experience of games such as Dungeons & Dragons to the computer screen. This genre includes classics such as Ultima and The Bard's Tale as well as more modern games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Written in an engaging style for both the computer game enthusiast and the more casual computer game player, this book explores the history of the genre by telling the stories of the developers, games, and gamers who created it.
Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic
Brad King, John Borland. ETC Press, 2003
Before the multibillion computer game industry, there was Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. D&D captured the attention of a small but influential group of players, many of whom also gravitated to the computer networks that were then appearing on college campuses around the globe. With the subsequent emergence of the personal computer, a generation of geeky storytellers arose that translated communal D&D playing experiences into the virtual world of computer games. The result of that 40-year journey is today's massive global community of players who, through games, have forged very real friendships and built thriving lives in virtual worlds. Dungeons & Dreamers follows the designers, developers, and players who built the virtual games and communities that define today's digital entertainment landscape and explores the nature of what it means to live and thrive in virtual communities.
Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games
Jaroslav Švelch. MIT Press, 2018
Aside from the exceptional history of Tetris, very little is known about gaming culture behind the Iron Curtain. But despite the scarcity of home computers and the absence of hardware and software markets, Czechoslovakia hosted a remarkably active DIY microcomputer scene in the 1980s, producing more than two hundred games that were by turns creative, inventive, and politically subversive. In Gaming the Iron Curtain, Jaroslav Švelch offers the first social history of gaming and game design in 1980s Czechoslovakia, and the first book-length treatment of computer gaming in any country of the Soviet bloc. Švelch describes how amateur programmers in 1980s Czechoslovakia discovered games as a medium, using them not only for entertainment but also as a means of self-expression. Sheltered in state-supported computer clubs, local programmers fashioned games into a medium of expression that, unlike television or the press, was neither regulated nor censored. In the final years of Communist rule, Czechoslovak programmers were among the first in the world to make activist games about current political events, anticipating trends observed decades later in independent or experimental titles. Drawing from extensive interviews as well as political, economic, and social history, Gaming the Iron Curtain tells a compelling tale of gaming the system, introducing us to individuals who used their ingenuity to be active, be creative, and be heard.
High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games
Rusel DeMaria, Johnny Lee Wilson. McGraw-Hill Osborne, 2002
From pinball to PlayStation, this photo-packed volume chronicles the history of electronic games–which has become both a billion dollar industry as well as a cultural phenomenon. Featuring hundreds of interviews with game creators and thousands of never-before-seen photos from the early days, this book honors the games that have captivated youngsters and the young-at-heart for more than 30 years–making this the ultimate tribute to electronic games.
Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds
J.C. Herz. Little, Brown and Company, 1997
In a scant fifteen years, video and computer games have grown into a $6-billion-a-year global industry, sucking up ever-increasing amounts of leisure time and disposable income. In arcades, living rooms, student dorms, and (admit it) offices from Ohio to Osaka, video games have become a fixture in people's lives, marking a tectonic shift in the entertainment landscape. Now, as Hollywood and Silicon Valley rush to sell us online interactive multimedia everything, J. C. Herz brings us the first popular history and critique of the video-game phenomenon. From the Cold War computer programmers who invented the first games (when they should have been working) to the studios where the networked 3-D theme parks of the future are created, Herz brings to life the secret history of Space Invaders, Pac Man, Super Mario, Myst, Doom, and other celebrated games. She explains why different kinds of games have taken hold (and what they say about the people who play them) and what we can expect from a generation that has logged millions of hours vanquishing digital demons. Written with 64-bit energy and filled with Herz's sharp-edged insights and asides, Joystick Nation is a fascinating pop culture odyssey that's must-reading for media junkies, pop historians, and anyone who pines for their old Atari.
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
David Kushner. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003
Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake— until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it's like to be young, driven, and wildly creative.
Once Upon Atari: How I made history by killing an industry
Howard Scott Warshaw. Scott West Productions, 2020.
How much fun can you have inventing video games in a creative paradise? What behind-the-scenes intrigue went on while launching a new medium? What really caused the video game crash of 1983? ONCE UPON ATARI is an intimate view into the dramatic rise and fall of the early video game industry, and how it shaped the life of one of its key players. This book offers eye-opening details and insights, delivered in a creative style that mirrors the industry it reveals. An innovative work from one of the industry's original innovators. This is a detailed look behind the scenes of the early days of video games, with particular attention to the causative factors leading up to the video game crash of the early 1980s. It is also the journey of one industry pioneer, and how his experience creating some of the world's most noted pieces of interactive entertainment reverberates throughout his life. It is a compelling tale of innocence, joy, greed, devastation and ultimately redemption, told in a fresh voice and unorthodox style.
Replay: The History of Video Games
Tristan Donovan. Yellow Ant Media Ltd, 2010
A riveting account of the strange birth and remarkable evolution of the most important development in entertainment since television, Replay is the ultimate history of video games. Based on extensive research and over 140 exclusive interviews with key movers and shakers from gaming's past, Replay tells the sensational story of how the creative vision of game designers gave rise to one of the world's most popular and dynamic art forms.
Retrogame Archeology: Exploring Old Computer Games
John Aycock. Springer, 2016.
Drawing on extensive research, this book explores the techniques that old computer games used to run on tightly-constrained platforms. Retrogame developers faced incredible challenges of limited space, computing power, rudimentary tools, and the lack of homogeneous environments. Using examples from over 100 retrogames, this book examines the clever implementation tricks that game designers employed to make their creations possible, documenting these techniques that are being lost. However, these retrogame techniques have modern analogues and applications in general computer systems, not just games, and this book makes these contemporary connections. It also uses retrogames' implementation to introduce a wide variety of topics in computer systems including memory management, interpretation, data compression, procedural content generation, and software protection. Retrogame Archeology targets professionals and advanced-level students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics but would also be of interest to retrogame enthusiasts, computer historians, and game studies researchers in the humanities.
Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971–1984
Van Burnham. Mit Press, 2003
It was a time when technology was king, status was determined by your high score, and videogames were blitzing the world… From Pong to Pac-Man, Asteroids to Zaxxon―more than fifty million people around the world have come of age within the electronic flux of videogames, their subconscious forever etched with images projected from arcade and home videogame systems. From the first interactive blips of electronic light at Brookhaven National Labs and the creation of Spacewar! at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; to the invention of the TV Game Project and the myriad systems of Magnavox, Atari, Coleco, and Mattel that followed; through the rise of the Golden Age of videogames and forward into the imagination of millions, Supercade is the first book to illustrate and document the history, legacy, and visual language of the videogame phenomenon. Exuberantly written and illustrated in full color, Supercade pays tribute to the technology, games, and visionaries of one of the most influential periods in the history of computer science―one that profoundly shaped the modern technological landscape and helped change the way people view entertainment. Supercade includes contributions from such commentators and particpants as Ralph Baer, Julian Dibbell, Keith Feinstein, Joe Fielder, Lauren Fielder, Justin Hall, Leonard Herman, Steven Johnson, Steven Kent, Nick Montfort, Bob Parks, Carl Steadman, and Tom Vanderbilt.
The 8-Bit Book - 1981 to 199X
Jerry Ellis, Andrew Rollings. Hiive Books, 2009
Computer and video games aficionado Jerry Ellis casts a nostalgic look back at some of the titles that helped to define the golden age of 8-bit computer gaming. As well as an essential selection of ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 games not featured in either of the first two books, The 8-Bit Book 1981 to 199x investigates some of the landmark BBC Micro, Apple II, Atari 400/800, Oric-1/Atmos, Dragon 32, TRS-80 Color Computer, VIC-20, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 128, Acorn Electron, Commodore 16/Plus/4, TI-99/4A and MSX efforts that provided players with the prehistory of today s global gaming industry. Individual chapters focus on every year from 1981 to 1989, while a final chapter covering the early 90s pays tribute to some of the 8-bit games that simply refused to accept that their humble host machines time in the sun was at an end. Though the main thrust of each chapter is a page-by-page analysis of many of the most memorable titles of the age, an introductory overview of each year s most pivotal events and developments is also included, as is a foreword from none other than David Braben, co-creator of Acornsoft s legendary BBC Micro space-trading epic, Elite. Each of the two hundred and thirty-three games covered is given a full-page review, accompanied by a selection of screen shots and the game s original cover artwork. Featured titles include such indisputable classics as 3D Monster Maze, Miner 2049er, Twin Kingdom Valley, Bomberman, Robotron: 2084, Elite, The Perils of Willy, Repton, Theatre Europe, Vampire Killer, Turbo Esprit, Metal Gear, Exile, Snatcher, Prince of Persia, Final Fantasy and many, many more. As with the first two books in the series, a fascinating assortment of less familiar titles has also been chosen by the author, each of which holds a unique place in the history of 8-bit gaming and has its own curious story to tell.
The Commodore 64 Book - 1982 to 199x
Andrew Fisher, Andrew Rollings. Hiive Books, 2007
Andrew Fisher's The Commodore 64 Book - 1982 to 199x covers over two hundred of the best games for the Commodore 64. Over two hundred classic games are covered in this book by Andrew Fisher, former writer for Commodore Force and Commodore Format and regular contributor to Retro Gamer. Introduced with a foreword by gaming industry legend Jeff Minter, this is a nostalgic and detailed look back at the rapid changes in gaming and how the Commodore 64 evolved. The book is split into chapters covering the years 1982 to 1992 - the commercially successful years for the machine. The final chapter covers the years from 1993 onwards, the end of the commercial era and some of the notable homebrew games that have followed. Each chapter is introduced with a short history of what was happening to Commodore and the games industry. The chapters are colour-coded and marked by the margin characters; each year has sprites/characters from a game published in that year. For each game there is a full page review with multiple screenshots and a scan of the game's cover. The games chosen represent some of the best titles the C64 has to offer, including well-known names like Impossible Mission, The Last Ninja and Armalyte. There are also one or two less well-known games, chosen by the author as personal favourites to bring them to a wider audience. The media (tape, disk or cartridge) each game was released in is shown, along with review scores and a quote from leading European magazines of the time including ZZAP! 64 and Commodore User. The reviews are split into three main parts. First comes the actual review section, describing the author s opinions of the game. The second section gives anecdotes and trivia about its creation and the people that made it. Notable sequels, conversions and similar games are also discussed. The final section gives the plot of the game and talks about the actual gameplay. The games are listed by year in the contents, with an index at the back providing quick access to favourite games.
The Golden Age of Video Games: The Birth of a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Roberto Dillon. A. K. Peters, 2011
This book focuses on the history of video games, consoles, and home computers from the very beginning until the mid-nineties, which started a new era in digital entertainment. The text features the most innovative games and introduces the pioneers who developed them. It offers brief analyses of the most relevant games from each time period. An epilogue covers the events and systems that followed this golden age while the appendices include a history of handheld games and an overview of the retro-gaming scene.
The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon - The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
Steven L. Kent. Three Rivers Press, 2001
The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning. This engrossing audiobook tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand accounts of how yesterday's games like “Space Invaders,” “Centipede,” and “Pac-Man” helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today's empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you'll discover: The video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy. The serendipitous story of Pac-Man's design. The misstep that helped topple Atari's $2 billion-a-year empire. The coin shortage caused by “Space Invaders.” The fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega. And much more! Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this audiobook is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick.
Videogames: In The Beginning
Ralph H. Baer. Rolenta Press, 2005
Long before there was a Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox or Nintendo Gamecube, there was the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first home videogame console. But the story of videogames predates the Odyssey by six years. It begins in 1966 when a television engineer named Ralph H. Baer sat down at a New York bus station and entered history. Videogames: In The Beginning is Ralph H. Baer’s account of how today’s $11-billion per year videogame industry began. A meticulous note keeper, Baer presents in his own words the real story of what led to the Odyssey… and beyond. But he doesn’t end there. In this book Baer also examines other products that he has worked on such as Simon, the most popular electronic toy ever created. He also discusses his pioneering work into early forms of CD-ROMs and digital imagery. Whether you are a student of videogame design, a game player, or a fan of inventions and history, you are sure to find Baer’s history fascinating and informative.
Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time
Bill Loguidice, Matt Barton. Routledge, 2009
Vintage Games explores the most influential videogames of all time, including Super Mario Bros., Grand Theft Auto III, Doom, The Sims and many more. Drawing on interviews as well as the authors' own lifelong experience with videogames, the book discusses each game's development, predecessors, critical reception, and influence on the industry. It also features hundreds of full-color screenshots and images, including rare photos of game boxes and other materials. Vintage Games is the ideal book for game enthusiasts and professionals who desire a broader understanding of the history of videogames and their evolution from a niche to a global market.
Virtual Cities: An Atlas and Exploration of Video Game Cities
Konstantinos Dimopoulos. Countryman Press, 2020
Spanning decades of digital history, this is the ultimate travel guide and atlas of the gamer imagination. Dimopoulos invites readers to share his vision of dozens of different gaming franchises like never before: discover Dimopoulos’s Half-Life 2’s City 17, Yakuza 0’s Kamurocho, Fallout’s New Vegas, Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City, and many more. Each chapter of this virtual travel guide consists of deep dives into the history and lore of these cities from an in-universe perspective. Illustrated with original color ink drawings and—of course—gorgeous and detailed maps, readers can explore the nostalgic games of their youth as well as modern hits. Sidebars based on the author’s research tell behind-the-scenes anecdotes and reveal the real-world stories that inspired these iconic virtual settings. With a combination of stylish original maps, illustrations, and insightful commentary and analysis, this is a must-have for video game devotees, world-building fans, and game design experts.
Zap!: The Rise and Fall of Atari
Scott Cohen. McGraw-Hill, 1984
Profiles the rise of Atari from its beginnings with Nolan Bushnell and capital of five hundrd dollars through its phenomenal growth in the 1970s to its numerous problems.