Through the stories of gaming's greatest innovations and most-beloved creations, journalist Harold Goldberg captures the creativity, controversy - and passion - behind the videogame's meteoric rise to the top of the pop-culture pantheon.
Over the last 50 years, video games have grown from curiosities to fads to trends to one of the world's most popular forms of mass entertainment. But as the gaming industry grows in numerous directions, and everyone talks about the advance of the moment, few explore and seek to understand the forces behind this profound evolution. How did we get from Space Invaders to Grand Theft Auto? How exactly did gaming become a $50 billion industry and a dominant pop culture form? What are the stories, the people, the innovations, and the fascinations behind this incredible growth?
Through extensive interviews with gaming's greatest innovators, both its icons and those unfairly forgotten by history, All Your Base Are Belong to Us sets out to answer these questions, exposing the creativity, odd theories - and passion - behind the 21st century's fastest-growing medium.
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©2011 Harold Goldberg (P)2015 Harold Goldberg
It gets some small details wrong, but otherwise it is a good overview of the recent history of videogames. It is written with real enthusiasm and reverence for the industry's movers and shakers.
This book is absolutely fascinating and could honestly be used as a required text for a college course, and I mean that in a good way. I learned so much about the video game world from beginning to end, and although some parts kind of dragged, overall was worth every second. Highly recommend if you want to learn more about developers and history of gaming.
great history of gaming.. hang in there through the old 70s stuff that has been told dozens of times the views on modern gaming are superb . nice transitions and even an opinion of where games can go.. (an opinion I agree with)
The book's title is somewhat misleading. Instead of an exploration of the effects that video games have had on pop culture, it reads much more like a collection of short scattered biographies of the men and women that made them, often spending far more time on the childhood and business practices of developers than the games that they created. Although the information provided is interesting, the writing becomes dull after the repetitive use of certain phrases and devices. The book also suffers from horrible organization, mentioning Nintendo in the 80's, EA in the 90's, then jumping back to Sierra in the 70's, and then to Nintendo again in the 2000's.
It's obvious that the book could not be completely comprehensive of video game history, but for a book claiming to be about the effects on pop culture it has some very odd entries and omissions. The author praises "Crash Bandicoot" for it's soundtrack but never mentions Koji Kondo or his compositions for the Mario and Zelda series's, which are arguably the most recognizable soundtracks of all time. The creation of the failed 3DO gaming console gets its own entry, yet Sega's long history is barely a footnote used for comparison to a few other companies. Pokemon, the third highest selling franchise of all time, that has spawned card games, 19 movies, a tv show about to start its 20th season, comics, physical stores, and it's own theme park, doesn't even warrant a mention in this title. Even "Zero Wing", the game this book gets it's title from is only briefly mentioned in the introduction.
A few times in the book, notably "World of Warcraft" and "Bio-shock", Goldberg does describe games with passion, and delves into the emotions a game made him feel, and descries why he finds them special. These parts are the most enjoyable, and made me want to replay those titles. I think that the book would have been much more successful if instead of writing so broadly about video games, Goldberg had gone deeper with a select company that he was passionate about.
I was really excited to listen to this book. It was recommended to me by a podcast I like and I have enjoyed similar books about Star Wars and Simpsons impact on pop culture.
Sadly, it was just to boring to even finish. I have tried two times to start it and am now giving up. The guy reading could put anyone to sleep. Using faster rate helped, but eventually his reading just didn't grab me and the material wasn't quite enough to save it.
"great bits and pieces, but rotten similes"
I enjoyed this, but the writer's devotion to the word "nerds" felt at odds with the topic and target audience.
cover most of gaming history, but ignore most indie games that will be great to cover.
"Worth a listen "
Interesting book, well read. A little disjointed as the chapters would start at different points in time. There is a lot of subject matter that could have also been included that wasn't such as the origins of the fps but overall the book was a nice length.
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