Thursday, September 23, 2010

Replay: A History of Video Games

Cover image: Replay: The History of Video GamesThere's a review in today's paper of a new book purporting to tell "the" history of video games (I always think "a history" is preferable: the definitive ambition of "the history" may be a little hubristic).

Fatal flaw of the title aside, it looks quite interesting. According to Keith Stuart's review,

Replay: The History of Video Games by games journalist Tristan Donovan is a[n ... ] up-to-date and thoughtfully written opus. Beginning with the switching on of the first programmable computer in 1946 and closing with the rise of downloadable indie games, this engrossing work manages to touch on every vital facet of the industry, from the formative battles between Atari and Mattel, through the rise of the home computer to the emergence of the Japanese home console empire.

Apparently Donovan includes a consideration of MUDs, which are often overlooked in such works (I know that when I talk about MUDs to students, it's usually the first time most of them have heard of such things). Clive "C5" Sinclair gets some coverage for his pioneering work in developing computing in the UK.

It's £12.99 in the shops and surprisingly expensive at £12.34 on Amazon. If it was more heavily discounted (under a tenner) I'd snap up a copy without thinking twice (Amazon must love me) but Amazon's piddlingly small "discount" is a psychological block that's cost them a sale. Instead of copping myself a copy, I'll ask the library to add one to stock.

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