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The History of Video Games (Hardback)

Social History Photographic Books Colour Books White Owl

By Charlie Fish
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 120
Illustrations: 150 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526778970
Published: 31st March 2021

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RRP £25.00

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This book is a potted history of video games, telling all the rollercoaster stories of this fascinating young industry that’s now twice as big globally than the film and music industries combined. Each chapter explores the history of video games through a different lens, giving a uniquely well-rounded overview.

Packed with pictures and stats, this book is for video gamers nostalgic for the good old days of gaming, and young gamers curious about how it all began. If you’ve ever enjoyed a video game, or you just want to see what all the fuss is about, this book is for you.

There are stories about the experimental games of the 1950s and 1960s; the advent of home gaming in the 1970s; the explosion – and implosion – of arcade gaming in the 1980s; the console wars of the 1990s; the growth of online and mobile games in the 2000s; and we get right up to date with the 2010s, including such cultural phenomena as twitch.tv, the Gamergate scandal, and Fortnite.

But rather than telling the whole story from beginning to end, each chapter covers the history of video games from a different angle: platforms and technology, people and personalities, companies and capitalism, gender and representation, culture, community, and finally the games themselves.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Having lived through the growth of gaming era, this was a fun walk through the past. My first gaming experiences came from playing the arcade game Space Invaders and a first ti me two-and-a-half-hour binge on Pac-Man, where a buddy of mine and I played so long and hard we rubbed the skin off our pointing fingers and developed blisters. Fanatics aren’t born, they are created.

Author Charlie Fish’s book starts way before my initial experiences, opening the door to a time when games were birthed in companies and at universities. The book is nicely split into sensible chapters, which include platforms, the most important creators, companies and marketing, gender representation, and the games themselves. His choice to break the games discussion into decades was a good idea, as the gamer universe is huge and recent games would have dwarfed their ancestors. This enabled a balanced view of the games most popular in the 80s, 90s, etc. I also enjoyed the numerous colored pictures of the various consoles and games.

NetGalley, Dee Arr

About Charlie Fish

Charlie Fish is a celebrated short story writer and screenwriter. Since 1996, he has edited www.fictionontheweb.co.uk, the longest-running short story site on the web. He was born in Mount Kisco, New York in 1980; and now lives in south London with his wife and daughters. His first experience of video gaming was a Donkey Kong II Game & Watch, and he has never looked back.

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