School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-A well-written mini-history of video games in general, and the different types of game structures that are commonly used, from PONG to CD-ROM to CD-I. Mention is made of virtual-reality program development. Skurzynski follows the evolution of a game from its conception, design, storyboard, animation, and programming to testing it with kids. Specific games are mentioned as examples, not as purchase recommendations. Full-color photographs, featuring a balance of girls and boys, are sharp and effectively advance the text. Formatting is open and user-friendly with lots of white space on each page. The last chapter, entitled ``Designing People,'' briefly decribes movers and shakers in the field. The technical information is accurate and clearly presented; there is enough of it to educate, without overwhelming, the intended audience. This title receives high scores on all fronts.-Carole B. Kirkpatrick, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Carolyn PhelanIllustrated with full-color photographs on nearly every page, this book introduces video games, their history, design, hardware, presentation, and state-of-the-art technology. It then profiles several people who develop and promote these games for recreation and education. Some of the photos of people have a staged quality, while others seem more natural; pictures of the games and game systems are usually informative. The audience level is problematic. The writing is fairly clear, and the topic and format will appeal to kids in grades 2 to 3, but the vocabulary is often too difficult for them. In fact, the best audience might be adults who don't have a clue as to what's going on in the field, since interested kids seem to pick up much of this information from magazines and from each other. Still, there's nothing comparable in book format. The information is up-to-date, pictures of the insides of video games and computers will be new to many young readers, and the idea that there are people designing the games will give them something to think about--a career choice, maybe?
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