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 by Steven Kent, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
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:
81,170
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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