Although I never went “square-eyed” from playing too many video games as my mother warned, I do occasionally need a break from the screen. When I do, I like to turn to the fascinating genre of video game books, to learn about the history and culture of this colourful world. This list features ten of the best video game books ever written. Ready, player one?
Masters Of Doom By David Kushner
No list of books about video games can miss out Kushner’s masterpiece from 2003. The book investigates the beginnings of id Software and how its two founders exploded out of a niche geek world, shaping the future of gaming and broader popular culture. It’s an inspirational story about the power of imagination to change the world.
The History Of The Future By Blake J. Harris
In this informative book Harris tackles the emerging technology of Virtual Reality with the studious approach of a historian. This is a future that’s still very much unfolding, but Harris writes with depth and keen understanding about the inception of VR-system Oculus and its growth, until Facebook took over. In doing so the book also traces the trajectory of Oculus designer Palmer Luckey, bringing a personal narrative to the digital story.
Blood, Sweat And Pixels By Jason Schreier
Jason Schreier’s epic tale traces the work that goes into producing video games, many times more laborious than working through the labyrinthine levels that gamers get to play. Schreier focuses on modern titles such as Diablo and Destiny, and reveals the work that goes on behind the scenes, exploring how video games can be produced both by solitary genius developers and huge studios. An informative read!
Jacked: The Outlaw Story Of Grand Theft Auto By David Kushner
Kushner’s long-awaited follow up to Masters Of Doom took a deep dive into a new studio having a similarly significant impact on popular culture. GTA is an infamous gaming series whose depictions of sex and violence has often been received with panic by certain areas of the media, and the tale of Rockstar Studios in developing it is no less exciting.
Stay Awhile And Listen By David L. Craddock
If you’re a fan of the game series Diablo then you need to read this book. Craddock explores how Blizzard went about creating these seminal games and there’s never been a better time to get hyped on Diablo, since Blizzard announced the forthcoming Diablo IV in November 2019.
Console Wars By Blake J. Harris
“With Nintendo in the blue corner and Sega in the red corner, Console Wars is a thrilling ride through the early 1990s battle for console dominance,” says Leonard Allen, tech writer at OXessays and Essayroo. “As the market for home gaming grew, it really was all to play for.”
Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World An Extra Life By Chris Kohler
The history of Japanese gaming is a fascinating one as told by Chris Kohler. Nintendo is the dominant studio, but Japan has a huge video game scene, one which might be new to the average Western Gamer. This book reveals the depth of the Japanese gaming world.
The Ultimate History Of Video Games By Steven L. Kent
In his Ultimate History, Kent provides the best overview to date of gaming history. Beginning in the early days of arcade gaming, Kent traces the journey of video games onto the small screen. This shift from arcades into people’s homes had a huge cultural impact, one that Kent describes with great skill.
Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World By David Sheff
Not many people know that Nintendo began as a company producing playing cards, but from these humble beginnings it has transformed itself into a world beating studio with some of the most recognizable characters in gaming. One for the Mario fans.
Replay: The History of Video Games By Tristan Donovan
Donovan provides a broad overview of gaming in this informative book. According to Virginia Velasquez, game expert at State Of Writing and Paper Fellows, “Donovan is an authoritative voice in video game history. As a bonus Replay features commentary from legends of the gaming world, meaning this is a multifaceted history of video games with insight packed into every page.”
Video games have a long and varied history and the future is bright as VR tech develops. Understanding the history and culture of video games can help bring your favourite games to life.
Freelance Written and Submitted
Beatrix is a writer at Ukwritings.com and Best Essay Service. Her obsession with video games began with a Nintendo 64 and she loves games both vintage and modern. She also is a manager at Academic Writing Service website.
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