Finally: Two New Books About Video Game History Set For Release

Finally: Two New Books About Video Game History Set For Release

If you have followed my ranting on this subject, you will already know that I love books about video games and video game history (i.e not strategy guides) and that I don’t think there are enough of them being published. While I’m still waiting for that All Encompassing History Of Atari , There is some good news on this front: two new books are set for release early next year that should satisfy the craving of computer/video game nerds who want to take a deep dive into their favorite subjects.

The first book is named Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (Platform Studies) By Nick Montfort, Ian Bogost . This is promises to be a fascinating in-depth study of 6 (in)famous Atari 2600 games: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars’ Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. At 184 pages, this could prove to be a watershed tome on the design of classic video games. plans to track-down the authors for an in-depth interview as soon as possible.
184 pages

The second book is a more general book on video games named Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time By Bill Loguidice, Matt Barton . Anyone who follows retro games might recognize these two authors. Bill Loguidice runs the classy retro gaming site Armchair Arcade, and Matt Barton is the author of Dungeons And Desktops, the for really in-depth book on computer RPGs ever written.

The new book is 352 pages and covers video and computer game history for a slightly different angle than any previous book. Instead of a straight chronology, the authors have opted to identify great games and genres,and then build their chapters around those topics. A quick look at the table of contents should tell you all you need to know:

  • Chapter 01 ‘ Alone in the Dark (1992): The Polygons of Fear
  • Chapter 02 ‘ Castle Wolfenstein (1981): Achtung! Stealth Gaming Steps out of the Shadows
  • Chapter 03 ‘ Dance Dance Revolution (1998): The Player Becomes the Star
  • Chapter 04 ‘ Diablo (1996): The Rogue Goes to Hell
  • Chapter 05 ‘ Doom (1993): The First-Person Shooter Takes Control
  • Chapter 06 ‘ Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (1992): Spicing up Strategy in Real Time
  • Chapter 07 ‘ Final Fantasy VII (1997): It’s Never Final in the World of Fantasy
  • Chapter 08 ‘ Flight Simulator (1980): Digital Reality
  • Chapter 09 ‘ Grand Theft Auto III (2001): The Consolejacking Life
  • Chapter 10 ‘ John Madden Football (1988): Modern Sports Videogames Kickoff
  • Chapter 11 ‘ King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown (1984): Perilous Puzzles, Thorny Thrones
  • Chapter 12 ‘ Myst (1993): Launching Multimedia Worlds
  • Chapter 13 ‘ Pac-Man (1980): Japanese Gumption, American Consumption
  • Chapter 14 ‘ Pole Position (1982): Where the Raster Meets the Road
  • Chapter 15 ‘ SimCity (1989): Building Blocks for Fun and Profit
  • Chapter 16 ‘ Space Invaders (1978): The Japanese Descend
  • Chapter 17 ‘ Street Fighter II (1991): Would you like the Combo?
  • Chapter 18 ‘ Super Mario 64/Tomb Raider (1996): The Third Dimension
  • Chapter 19 ‘ Super Mario Bros. (1985): How High Can Jumpman Get?
  • Chapter 20 ‘ Tetris (1985): Casual Gaming Falls into Place
  • Chapter 21 ‘ The Legend of Zelda (1986): Rescuing Zeldas and Uniting Triforces
  • Chapter 22 ‘ The Sims (2000): Who Let the Sims Out?
  • Chapter 23 ‘ Ultima (1980): The Immaculate Conception of the Computer Role-Playing Game
  • Chapter 24 ‘ Ultima Online (1997): Putting the Role-Play back in Computer Role-Playing Games
  • Chapter 25 ‘ Zork (1980): Text Imps versus Graphics Grues

Both books will be published in March of next year. It looks like 2009 might be another banner year for great books about video games and video game history.

You can check out this books and more in the Buyer’ Guide Of Essential Stuff For Computer Nerds


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