What are some excellent video game history and reference books?

Dio Brando

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Right now, I am planning on picking up The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven L. Kent. Any other suggestions?
 

pepelegit

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i really enjoyed 'racing the beam'; it focuses entirely on the atari 2600, though, rather than covering everything.
 

TonK

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Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames.
 
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RadRacer73

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If you dont already have the digital press guides (red-up to 8-bit) (blue-16 bit on up) you must start there:buttrock:
 

Taiso

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Read 'Power Up!'

It's the best book about video games I''ve ever read.

I read 'Ultimate History' back when it was called 'The First Quarter', before they added on all the extra content, and really enjoyed that one, too.
 

Loopz

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'Game Over'...(got damn I forgot the author) is a really good read about the rise of Nintendo, from the arcade/Donkey Kong to the NES years.
 

ForeverSublime

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I haven't read many, but Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984, by Van Burnham, is pretty good.

It's also worth checking out interviews with Ralph Baer or Al Alcorn (there are probably some interviews on youTube).
 

SonGohan

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The Ultimate History of Video Games is a good read. That's the only one I've read, so I can't really compare it to others, but there's a lot of history packed in there. I think it was in that book that I learned Sega came from "Service Games."
 

J. Max

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The ones mentioned are really good. Game Over is by David Sheff, BTW. If you get that one, make sure it's a later edition because some of the translations of names are a bit funny. Here's a few more:

Zap: The Rise And Fall of Atari by Scott Cohen (It's out of print, but a really interesting look at the early years of Atari)

Opening the Xbox by Dean Takahashi (A sort-of history of Microsoft's video game department)

Vintage Games by Matt Barton (Takes a look at some of the most influential games ever and what they have in common.)

Joystick Nation by JC Herz (Sociological look at video games)

Arcade Mania by Brian Ashcraft (Looks at Japanese arcades.)


I've read/own all of these...you should start with Stephen Kent's book and Phoenix. They sort of lay the basework.
 

Dio Brando

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Righteous. I will definitely look into these books. Thank you for your suggestions!
 

Metal Slugnuts

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All solid suggestions. I'll throw in my two cents:

Masters of Doom: A great great great great read on the history of the two Johns and id software. Definitely my favorite game history book, even above Ultimate.

High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games: Not the most in depth gaming history book out there but it makes a nice bathroom/coffee table book. It focuses a lot more on PC gaming history than other books I've read but there are some glaring omissions (the Neo gets a one paragraph writeup and one page of pics :mad:). Worth a look at least. EDIT: According to Amazon it looks like the Third Edition is coming this year...:eye::eye:

Gamers: Not a proper history book but rather a bunch of writers' random experiences with the medium. Most of the stuff is great...another decent coffee table book.

Smartbomb: To be honest it's been years since I read this but I remember it being good...worth a look if you can find it cheap.

Video Game Theory Reader: I haven't finished this one yet but so far it's dynamite...definitely worth a look.
 
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