I Am Error: The Nintendo Family Computer / Entertainment System Platform


Nathan Altice - 2015
    In the 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System videogame Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a character famously declared: I AM ERROR. Puzzled players assumed that this cryptic mesage was a programming flaw, but it was actually a clumsy Japanese-English translation of "My Name is Error," a benign programmer's joke. In I AM ERROR Nathan Altice explores the complex material histories of the Nintendo Entertainment System (and its Japanese predecessor, the Family Computer), offering a detailed analysis of its programming and engineering, its expressive affordances, and its cultural significance.Nintendo games were rife with mistranslated texts, but, as Altice explains, Nintendo's translation challenges were not just linguistic but also material, with consequences beyond simple misinterpretation. Emphasizing the technical and material evolution of Nintendo's first cartridge-based platform, Altice describes the development of the Family Computer (or Famicom) and its computational architecture; the "translation" problems faced while adapting the Famicom for the U.S. videogame market as the redesigned Entertainment System; Nintendo's breakthrough console title Super Mario Bros. and its remarkable software innovations; the introduction of Nintendo's short-lived proprietary disk format and the design repercussions on The Legend of Zelda; Nintendo's efforts to extend their console's lifespan through cartridge augmentations; the Famicom's Audio Processing Unit (APU) and its importance for the chiptunes genre; and the emergence of software emulators and the new kinds of play they enabled.

Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds


J.C. Herz - 1997
    In arcades, living rooms, student dorms, and (admit it) offices from Ohio to Osaka, video games have become a fixture in people's lives, marking a tectonic shift in the entertainment landscape.Now, as Hollywood and Silicon Valley rush to sell us online interactive multimedia everything, J. C. Herz brings us the first popular history and critique of the video-game phenomenon. From the Cold War computer programmers who invented the first games (when they should have been working) to the studios where the networked 3-D theme parks of the future are created, Herz brings to life the secret history of Space Invaders, Pac Man, Super Mario, Myst, Doom, and other celebrated games. She explains why different kinds of games have taken hold (and what they say about the people who play them) and what we can expect from a generation that has logged millions of hours vanquishing digital demons.Written with 64-bit energy and filled with Herz's sharp-edged insights and asides, Joystick Nation is a fascinating pop culture odyssey that's must-reading for media junkies, pop historians, and anyone who pines for their old Atari.

1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die


Tony Mott - 2010
    The video game has arrived as entertainment and as an art form. This is the first serious critical evaluation ever published of the best video games and is a testament to the medium’s innovativeness and increasing emphasis on aesthetics. Organized chronologically and for all platforms (PC, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.) and covering all genres from the bold (Grand Theft Auto and Halo) and dark (Resident Evil and Silent Hill) to the spiritual (Final Fantasy) and whimsical (Legend of Zelda), the book traces the video game from the rough early days of Pong to the latest visual fantasia.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture


Harold Goldberg - 2011
    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 twenty-first century's fastest-growing medium.Go inside the creation of: Grand Theft Auto * World of Warcraft * Bioshock * Kings Quest * Bejeweled * Madden Football * Super Mario Brothers * Myst * Pong * Donkey Kong * Crash Bandicoot * The 7th Guest * Tetris * Shadow Complex * Everquest * The Sims * And many more!

Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA: Enhanced Edition


Sam Pettus - 2013
    Starting with its humble beginnings in the 1950's and ending with its swan-song, the Dreamcast, in the early 2000’s, this is the complete history of Sega as a console maker. Before home computers and video game consoles, before the internet and social networking, and before motion controls and smartphones, there was Sega. Destined to fade into obscurity over time, Sega would help revolutionize and change video games, computers and how we interact with them, and the internet as we know it. Riding the cutting edge of technology at every step, only to rise too close to the sun and plummet, Sega would eventually change the face of entertainment, but it’s the story of how it got there that’s all the fun. So take a ride, experience history, and enjoy learning about one of the greatest and most influential companies of all time. Complete with system specifications, feature and marketing descriptions, unusual factoids, almost 300 images, and now enhanced Europe specific details, exclusive interviews, and more make this the definitive history of Sega available. Read and learn about the company that holds a special place in every gamer’s heart.

Diablo III Signature Series Guide


Doug Walsh - 2012
     Exhaustive Bestiary, detailing every monster in the game. In-depth coverage of Heroes to maximize player effectiveness in all five Character Classes. Guide to meeting and leveling up the Blacksmith, Jeweler, and Mystic professions, and how to maximize the relationships and crafting from each Artisan. Presentation of item types, weapons, collectibles, and other loot. Plus: discussion of sets of items, how to get better loot, and manage raw materials. The only official resource to Blizzard's Online Auction House. Bid on and win rare items safely and effectively. Screen shots capture numerous indoor and outdoor areas in new regions of Sanctuary.

High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games


Rusel DeMaria - 2002
    Featuring hundreds of interviews with game creators and thousands of never-before-seen photos from the early days, this book honors the games that have captivated youngsters and the young-at-heart for more than 30 years--making this the ultimate tribute to electronic games.

Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age, 1971-1984


Van Burnham - 2001
    From Pong to Pac-Man, Asteroids to Zaxxon - more than 50 million people around the world have come of age within the electronic flux of videogames, their subconscious forever etched with images projected from arcade and home videogame systems.

Art of Atari


Tim Lapetino - 2016
    Since its formation in 1972, the company pioneered hundreds of iconic titles including Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command. In addition to hundreds of games created for arcades, home video systems, and computers, original artwork was specially commissioned to enhance the Atari experience, further enticing children and adults to embrace and enjoy the new era of electronic entertainment. The Art of Atari is the first official collection of such artwork. Sourced from private collections worldwide, this book spans over 40 years of the company's unique illustrations used in packaging, advertisements, catalogs, and more. Co-written by Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino, The Art of Atari includes behind-the-scenes details on how dozens of games featured within were conceived of, illustrated, approved (or rejected), and brought to life! Includes a special Foreword by New York Times bestseller Ernest Cline author of Armada and Ready Player One, soon to be a motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. Whether you're a fan, collector, enthusiast, or new to the world of Atari, this book offers the most complete collection of Atari artwork ever produced! "For me, revisiting the beautiful artwork presented in this book is almost as good as taking a trip in Doc Brown's time machine back to that halcyon era at the dawn of the digital age. But be warned, viewing these images may leave you with an overwhelming desire to revisit the ancient pixelated battlefields they each depict as well." -- from the Foreword by Ernest Cline, author of READY PLAYER ONE

A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Players


Jesper Juul - 2009
    These new casual games are now played by men and women, young and old. Players need not possess an intimate knowledge of video game history or devote weeks or months to play. At the same time, many players of casual games show a dedication and skill that is anything but casual. In "A Casual Revolution," Jesper Juul describes this as a reinvention of video games, and of our image of video game players, and explores what this tells us about the players, the games, and their interaction. With this reinvention of video games, the game industry reconnects with a general audience. Many of today's casual game players once enjoyed " Pac-Man, Tetris," and other early games, only to drop out when video games became more time-consuming and complex. Juul shows that it is only by understanding what a game requires of players, what players bring to a game, how the game industry works, and how video games have developed historically that we can understand what makes video games fun and why we choose to play (or not to play) them.

The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design


Flint Dille - 2008
    Sure, they cover the basics. But The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design goes way beyond the basics. The authors, top game designers, focus on creating games that are an involving, emotional experience for the gamer. Topics include integrating story into the game, writing the game script, putting together the game bible, creating the design document, and working on original intellectual property versus working with licenses. Finally, there’s complete information on how to present a visionary new idea to developers and publishers. Got game? Get The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design.

Trigger Happy: Videogames and the Entertainment Revolution


Steven Poole - 2000
    Thirty years after the invention of the simplest of games, more videogames are played by adults than children. This revolutionary book is the first-ever academically worthy and deeply engaging critique of one of today's most popular forms of play: videogames are on track to supersede movies as the most innovative form of entertainment in the new century.

Game Engine Black Book Wolfenstein 3D: v2.1


Fabien Sanglard - 2017
    How was Wolfenstein 3D made and what were the secrets of its speed? How did id Software manage to turn a machine designed to display static images for word processing and spreadsheet applications into the best gaming platform in the world, capable of running games at seventy frames per seconds? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, Game Engine Black Book is for you.

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1


John Szczepaniak - 2014
    Every interviewee is asked about unreleased titles.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition Official Game Guide


Bethesda Softworks - 2006
    -Detailed maps for every part of the world and every major city, plus special maps for every key section of the main quest. -Specific chapters on how to create your character and maximize your abilities and skills. -Over 450 full-color pages packed with information on everything you need to know about the massive gameworld of Oblivion. -Walkthroughs for every quest in every part of the Oblivion world, including the main quest, as well as miscellaneous and freeform quests. -Sections on various gameplay systems including stealth, combat, magic, spellmaking and enchanting, alchemy, and more.