High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games

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9780072224283: High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games

..".overflowing with color screenshots, package art, reproductions of old game ads, shots of old machines, and photos of collectibles. Every picture triggers another memory, and before long you're awash in blissful recollections..."--"Computer Gaming World, August '02

..".300+ pages offer a visually compelling record of the origins and development of electronic entertainment, so buy it for the pictures of rare game boxes and screens... it's a great nostalgia trip for old-timers and a primer on the industry's storied past for the less ancient reader."--"Computer Games, August '02

From pinball to PlayStation, this photo-packed volume chronicles the history of electronic games--which has become both a billion dollar industry as well as a cultural phenomenon. 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.

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Product Description:

This is a photo-filled look back at our favourite electronic games, the personal histories of the people who made them and the history of an industry that rose from obscurity to mass-market popularity in 30 years.

Review:

It's doubtful that anyone who doesn't play video games obsessively would deem them worthy of historical record, but High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games celebrates the fact that electronic games have been around for over 40 years now and, despite the hopes of parents and girlfriends everywhere, they're more popular than ever.

Unfortunately the authors of this impressively thick volume have made their ambitious task, of illustrating the history of video games, easier for themselves by concentrating almost exclusively on US-developed hardware and software. It's a bit like a history of cinema that tries to ignore Hollywood. Indeed the book seems to go out of its way to ignore Japanese and European companies in favour of pages of text on obscure American titles. When even Sony's PlayStation garners only three paragraphs of text and two pages of screenshots it's really time to raise an eyebrow of surprise and suspicion.

There's something of a flaw with the "illustrated" aspect of the book as well, with many titles only shown via gaudy box art instead of actual screen shots. But it's clear that the intention of this book was not to chronicle the history and artistry of video games around the world. It's simply the pet project of a couple of American PC games fans. If you share similar tastes you'll love this book, if not you'd be better advised to try a more inclusive tome such as Steven Poole's Trigger Happy or the more accessible The Ultimate History of Video Games. --David Jenkins

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