Every Gamer Should Read: A History of Video Games in 64 Objects (2018)

Each object played a significant role in the development of video games and ESports.



You can’t spend 24 hours a day lobbing incendiary grenades at terrorists in CS:GO or waiting in vain for Fortnite’s long-delayed Season 3 to finally start. You’ve got to sleep, for one thing, not to mention eat—and no, chasing a fistful of Flintstones Gummies with a can of Monster Assault does not count as a meal. Reading is optional, of course, but if you can tear your eyes away from the screen for a few minutes, you’ll find that there are some pretty great books out there that even the most die-hard gamer can appreciate, covering topics from the history of video games to the bleeding edge of ESports.

This week’s pick:

A History of Video Games in 64 Objects by World Video Game Hall of Fame

A History of Video Games book
A History of Video Games in 64 Objects by World Video Game Hall of Fame

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was a failure of legendary proportions.

Oh, not the movie, of course. Steven Spielberg’s 1982 masterpiece broke box-office records, won four Academy Awards, and remains one of the most beloved films of all time.

The Atari 2600 game of the same title, on the other hand, was so bad—repetitive, glitchy, and notoriously difficult to play—that it bankrupted the company, which dumped truckloads of unsold cartridges into a New Mexico landfill.

Many of those cartridges were exhumed in 2014, and one of them, still caked in Alamogordo mud, was donated to the World Video Game Hall of Fame, which is how it ended up in A History of Video Games in 64 Objects.

The 63 other items in the book range from 1947’s Humpty Dumpty (the first pinball machine with electromechanical flippers) to the Atari 2600 itself, and on up through the years. Each object played a significant role in the development of video games, and each has a back story as fascinating as that of the ill-fated E.T. game.

While the book is not specifically about ESports, it does include a number of entries about the groundbreaking titles that contributed directly to the development of today’s competitive gaming environment, including John Madden Football (1990), Street Fighter II (1991), and World of Warcraft (2004).

Lavishly illustrated with full-colour photos, A History of Video Games in 64 Objects is a must-read for hard-core and casual gamers alike.

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I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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