The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon and Beyond...The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon and Beyond...The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

4.3 110
by Steven Kent
     
 

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Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. 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

Overview

Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. 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 book 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 book is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A major triumph."
Next Generation Magazine

"If anyone knows game history, it's Steve Kent."
—Dave Theurer, creator of Tempest, I*Robot, and Missile Command

"This is the best video game history book I've ever come across."
—John Romero, founder of Ion Storm

"For industry insiders and game players alike, this book is a must-have."
—Mark Turnell, designer for Midway Games and creator of NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and Wrestlemania

"A compelling journey through the evolution of the video games industry."
—Minoru Arakawa, president of Nintendo

"This book is from the horse's mouth. Finally, the game designers speak out in all their wisdom and stupidity."
—Eugene Jarvis, creator of Defender and Robotron 2084

Publishers Weekly
In this rollicking, mammoth history of video games from pinball to Pong to Playstation II Kent, a technology journalist and self-professed video game addict, covers almost every conceivable aspect of the industry, from the technological leaps that made the games possible to the corporate power struggles that won (and lost) billions of dollars. Anecdotes are legion. Readers learn that early Atari, for example, had the corporate climate of a dot-com startup, with rampant drug use and meetings staged in outdoor hot tubs. The original name for Pac-Man turns out to be Puck-Man; its creators changed the name after worrying that vandals in arcades would replace the P with an F. In 1978, there were so many people playing Space Invaders in Japan that the game caused a national coin shortage. Kent meticulously documents the rise of home video games and the console wars of the past decade, when Sega, Nintendo, Sony and others raced to produce the fastest, most powerful game system. Also addressed is the public backlash of the '80s, when video games were thought to distract students from homework, and the '90s, when Doom and other violent games were linked to the massacre at Columbine High School. Along the way, Kent interviews virtually every key player in the industry. At times, Kent's comprehensiveness is exhausting 500-plus pages on video games may be a bit much, even for their most ardent admirers. But most often Kent's infectious enthusiasm is enough to carry the reader along. Equal parts oral history, engineering study, business memoir, game catalogue and Gen-X nostalgia trip, Kent's book is a loving tribute to one of the most dynamic (and profitable) industries in the world today. (Oct.)Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Burnham's Supercade is bursting with illustrations of video game graphics, logos, artwork, and promotional images. With as much emphasis on illustrations as on text, this book might be as close visually to an electronic-game experience as one can get in print. Burnham, a contributing editor to Wired magazine, writes in a more casual voice and has incorporated short chapters by some guest authors, including Kent; the index and bibliography are welcome additions. These books nicely complement each other, though Kent's may appeal more to historians with its comprehensive coverage and Burnham's to nostalgic gamers with its eye-popping graphics. As works that cover an important facet of our popular culture, both titles are strong candidates for both public and academic libraries. Joe J. Accardi, William Rainey Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761536437
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
10/02/2001
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
178,974
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Steven L. Kent, a lifelong a gamer since the debut of Pong, writes weekly columns about electronic entertainment for the Los Angeles Times syndicate, MSNBC, and the Japan Times. His articles have appeared in USA Today, Rolling Stone, Replay, Wired, Next Generation, and numerous other publications. Mr. Kent has also appeared on CNN, the CBS Morning Show, and the NBC Nightly News. He lives with his wife and two children in Bothell, Washington.

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The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon and Beyond...The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only reason I haven't given this book five stars is because I haven't finished it! However, this is definitely hard to put down once you start reading. Starting with the birth of pinball, the book gets into the early ages of video games starting with Baer and his 'program'. Then it moves on to Atari and gets in depth with its history. From the unorthodox king Nolan Bushnell, aka the father of video games and his many princes (Steve Jobs of Apple, Al, Gene, and the many others), Atari built a multi million dollar empire from a garage out in Santa Clara. Read the exploits of a team that held business meetings in hot tubes, hired bikers to make their products, and started a revolution. Read then when Bushnell left to start Chuck E. Cheeses. However, if Atari isn't your bag, read about Nintendo and its never ending battle of controversy, how Sega, headquartered in Japan, has American roots, and the new systems of today and the Pokemon craze. Over 500 interviews of the top personalities in video games are packed in. Also, discussion of the top video games are here too. Though maybe it sounds like a history book, the stories are interesting and the book keeps you turning the pages and reading. The pictures aren't a bad addition to the book either! A good book for anyone interested in one of the biggest media revolutions. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally loved reading this book. It gave me a real insight on gaming technology. I would recommend this book if you love technology.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book can never be read only once I personally think that this book sghould never go out of print until every person on earth has a copy! YOU MUST READ THIS!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Believe me when I say, that this book is with out a doubt shere genius. This critique on a hobby, or lifestyle you could say that is coveted by children and adults alike , is exellent in presentation. The book itself is a in depth review, and facts based story, on the monsterous rise of the video game industry. I myself am not a great fan of reading. I spend most of my time doing what this very book talks about. Although I can honestly tell you that once I picked up this book, it didn't leave my hands. I nearly lost my job over this book it pulled me in so much. I say this from my heart that this is the best book I have ever read. Thank you!
asiancakeashley More than 1 year ago
This is probably one of the most in-depth and comprehensive books on the history of the Video Game Industry ever written. It covers from its origins, through the debut of Pong, the Atari boom, the crash, Nintendo, Sega, Sony and more. It is complete with interviews with key developers, publishers and game company figureheads. It was published in 2003 so, sadly, it only goes up until the debuts of the GameCube and Xbox, with the death of the Sega Dreamcast being its last focal point. But it is a tremendous read even if by today its not exceptionally current, and even the most knowledgeable Video Game Historian could still learn a few things from it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He runs in out of breath" nurse.. joy...not on. I brought first aid though. Let me see him" he kneels down
HiGhPoiNT More than 1 year ago
I just love the 80's, especially all the old arcade games. I had somebody ask me once, "what's an arcade?" If you have to ask, you will not enjoy this book. For those who used to hang out at Aladdin's Castle in the mall, chances are you might like this book. I certainly did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought I knew everything about video games until I picked up this book. This has EVERYTHING on games, and is a must have for anyone who plays games! This is one of the best gaming books I have ever read! GET IT!
Anonymous 7 months ago
I came in like a pokeball I just wanted to catch em all! Try singing this like I came in like a werking ball. Ok?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Idiots do somthing productive in your life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will play borderlands 2 coop and tombraider difinitive edition or dying light will post channel name soon thanks :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a mint cindion anchent mew 1999-2000 what do you think its worth respond to mew kid thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best one ever! Pokemon rule!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u r looken for a bf im single repost saying where u live a text + number if u have one and yor phone nuber and your a ge im 12 i live io metamora ohio
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It evolves from tynamo and eelektrik
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After Professer Juniper left the room, Molly stared at the Vulpix. "Mommy?" It said. "Are you alright?" Molly nodded. "Yeah. But how do you talk?" Molly asked. Vulpix shrugged. "Like that lady said, I'm just a normal baby Vulpix, I think. I think its YOU who is special. I dont think you're insane and if you could talk to other pokemon you wouldn't be." Molly had an idea. She scooped up Vulpix and ran out of the room. She saw two of the three starters, Oshawatt and Tepig. Tepig was napping and Oshawatt was cleaning its salchop. "Uh. Oshawatt. Do you understand me?" Molly asked. Its eyes widened. "Whoa! A talking human! Amazing!" It said, in pure shock. Molly smiled, trying to remain calm. Ever since preschool, she always had a special connection with pokemon. She never knew she part of 0.0000000001% of people who can understand and talk to pokemon. "Can i be your pokemon?" Asked Oshawatt. "No trainer ever wants me. They think I'm too weak." She could relate to that. Because she was special, she didn't have any friends in school. She nodded. Oshawatt jumped with joy! She walked outside and plopped Oshawatt and Vulpix in the basket on her scooter. And rode down the road.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry I messed up the last post! I accedentaly pushed the check mark and posted the unfinished message! So as I was saying: Welcome to the Pokemon Fan Club! To join, put the title as: To $apphire, From: (your name)! Then in the paragraph box type: I am a Pokemon/ Pokemon trainer l. For Pokemon trainers put: I have long wavy brown hair. I have a white dress and white shoes.......... pretty much explaning what you look like! For the Pokemon...... put: Name: Crystal, Gender: Female, Pokemon: Vaporeon, (you do not have to put this, but it would help to be specific! Egg group: I don't know Vaporeon's egg group!) Wild: No, Trainer: Sapphire, Shiny?: Yes, Shiny color: (and yes you DO have to put your shiny color all in detail! If you want to be a shiny Pokemon!) Solid light lavender! Have fun and; "Gotta' catch them all!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Flare Gender: Male Pokemon: Eevee
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SUCKY STORY DUDE AND THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!$#%&*&6-;+*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still have my dads old game so i ay dat. :D