Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
A History of Video Games  By  cover art

A History of Video Games

By: Jeremy Parish,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Jeremy Parish
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Since their arrival in the mid-20th century, video games have become a sprawling, multi-billion dollar business. On an annual basis, the industry is even more profitable than Hollywood. Today’s video games feature stunning, lifelike visuals and complex storylines - but they didn’t start out that way. 

The origin of video games can be traced back to World War II. In the 10 lectures of A History of Video Games, listeners will follow the development of the digital game from its roots in the war room to its proliferation in the 21st-century living room. Taught by journalist, podcast host, and video game historian Jeremy Parish, this lively course will track the tremendous leaps made in computing technology that allowed games to become increasingly sophisticated and the popular trends that pushed the boundaries of technology forward. 

The story of video games is not just about technology. It’s also about popular culture, economics, and globalization. Throughout these lectures, students will learn about the extremely profitable gaming industry, as well as the creative minds and ambitious projects that helped build it - and even encounter a few spectacular failures. Be prepared to: 

  • Witness the precipitous rise and fall of Atari
  • Experience the birth of blockbuster gaming systems like NES and Sega Genesis
  • Learn about the evolution of the console, PC, and portable gaming
  • Explore the creation of iconic game series, such as Mario Bros., Pac-Man, and Pokémon 

From the simple pleasures of Pong to the complex online world of Fortnite, video games have come a long way over the course of seven decades, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Listeners will surely reminisce about their own experience with gaming as they learn more about this exciting industry, phenomenon, and pastime.

©2020 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Professor

Jeremy Parish is a journalist who has been writing about the history of video games for over 20 years. His work has been published in dozens of magazines, websites, and books. He currently works for the game publisher Limited Run Games as the in-house curator of the stories behind the games they publish. Mr. Parish is also the founder and co-host of the video game podcast Retronauts, and he hosts a weekly YouTube series called Retroworks, which recounts the chronological history of various games and gaming systems across the decades.

Our favorite moments from A History of Video Games

Lecture 01, Chapter 02
  • Lecture 01, Chapter 02
The origin of video games
-0.00
Lecture 01, Chapter 02
  • Lecture 01, Chapter 02
How video games and the Space Race intersected.
-0.00
Lecture 03, Chapter 04
  • Lecture 03, Chapter 04
"The future of video games..."
-0.00
  • Lecture 01, Chapter 02
  • The origin of video games
  • Lecture 01, Chapter 02
  • How video games and the Space Race intersected.
  • Lecture 03, Chapter 04
  • "The future of video games..."

What listeners say about A History of Video Games

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    198
  • 4 Stars
    116
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    175
  • 4 Stars
    92
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    172
  • 4 Stars
    97
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A fairly shallow and disjointed series of lectures

This reads not like a work of history, but as a collection of anecdotal information written by someone reading through Wikipedia articles.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great lecture

Very well done history of video games. Just scratches the surface but it does very well on the areas it does hit.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great For Gamers.

I like many different game types an video games are no exception. The 1st console we had was the NES. This was an informative look at video games like I have never experienced. Awesome book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

informative and nostalgic

educational and yet nostalgic in that it was not only a walk down memory lane for my childhood growing up in video games but also filled in mini gaps that I didn't know in the history of the art as well as taught me many interesting trivial facts of the world behind the scenes.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasant nostalgia

This was an interesting work, although extremely short. Much of it mentioned the technologies and games I grew up with, but it also went deeper into some history I was not aware of. It's interesting to see the different forces at work over the decades that shaped the modern world of video games. I enjoyed listening to this.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting

As someone who enjoys video games, and has been playing them since the old Texas Instrument console back in the 80's, I found this very interesting and educational. I would recommend this to any listener. it's a good piece of history.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The pauses.......are maddening.

The information is great.


However, the narrator paused after every sentence for just a bit longer than is necessary.




Everyone once in awhile would be no bit deal, but the breaks between sentences become more and more noticeable as it goes on.




It becomes maddening and makes it impossible to get through.


I'd love the same text but in book form.


As is, I had to stop listening.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

outstanding!

well put together, great overview spanning six decades. great intro for someone new to classic games evolution to today's

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Topic

Parish provides a quick, if dry, overview of the development of video games. It will interest anyone who has more than a passing interest in the subject, but I was disappointed that the lectures were not more captivating. I listen to a lot of Great Courses books and this one had a subject matter that I expected to enthrall, yet it never fully captivated my attention.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun easy listen, if this interests you.

I enjoyed this brief history. The amount of time was just right. Even provoked some memories.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nicus
  • Nicus
  • 12-01-21

interesting walkthrough, terrible performance

The walkthrough of video games history is mildly interesting, even though a mere enumeration of games. No interesting behind the scenes story or curiosity.
The performance is awful. Monotone voice, rushing through the reading. At the beginning I thought I was playing at 1.2x by mistake

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-17-21

Pew Pew


A fun short yet informative series about the history of computer games and their cultural significance.

The narration and music fitted perfectly with the title.

I would recommend this title to anyone interested in art, history or social and cultural themes.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel J. R. May
  • Daniel J. R. May
  • 11-05-20

Interesting subject, presentation a bit too dry.

There is some interesting subject matter here, however the presentation as an audio book is just a bit too dry.

It feels like a tired "coach tour" of the subject, where we pass one thing after another without stopping to get on the ground and really take in the sights, sounds and smells!

I think it would also be fair to say that the narrators would have benefitted from going to a few acting classes, and been guided in their performance by a empathetic director.