Gaming and literature hasn’t always gone hand in hand but there is no denying the huge potential and inspirations in the world of books (cough, Witcher?). But today it’s books for gamers that we’re here for! Gaming being accepted as an artistic and worthwhile medium isn’t news anymore, but it does mean there are more and more people analysing, scrutinising, and studying games, yay!
Here’s our list of recommendation on 10 books anybody interested in the gaming industry or the art of making games should read. So put down the controller and take some time to read about your favorite past time.
All your base are belong to us: How Fifty Years of Video games Conquered Pop Culture
By Harold Goldberg – 2011
With a title bound to catch every gaming meme aficionados on the internet, Harold Goldberg in his book makes a thorough analysis on the past 50 years of gaming and specifically the impact it has had since on popular culture. From the meteoric rise to a billion dollar industry, to the making of some of the most iconic characters and franchises..
The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotized the World
by Dan Ackerman – 2016
Tetris does not need introduction. Everyone has seen, heard. and played Tetris . It’s on pretty much every system you can think of since the dawn of gaming, and therefore has been played by a wide spanning generation.
But what do you know about Tetris and its creator Alexey Pajitnov? The Tetris Effect takes a fascinating look at a game many now take for granted despite its troubled history through the cold war.
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made
by Jason Schreier – 2017
With the amount of games coming out every year it’s easy to sometimes forget what it takes to make a game from scratch. The skills required shared across so many various medium can be jaw dropping. Blood, Sweat and Pixels high puts into light what goes on in the background during those years of development.
Jason Schreier is a well known News Editor over at Kotaku so he knows his stuffs! He’s posted a few excerpts of his book on Kotaku itself, have a sneak peek of the chapter on how blizzard saved Diablo III.
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
by Blake J. Harris – 2015
If you grew up in the 90s and were one of those kids who swore by blast processing, or who would win in a fight Mario or Sonic.. Then this is probably a book you’ll enjoy 😉 The story of a David-and-Goliath battle, and how a newcomer (Tom Kalinske) would take the underdog to new heights without knowing a thing about the gaming industry.
Now if only i had known all this as a kid!
Embed with Games: A Year on the Couch with Game Developers
by Cara Ellison – 2016
Gonzo journalism in the realm of gaming. Cara Ellison spent a year journeying from couch to couch around the world to recount her first hand discoveries of what the life of a game developer really is. A personal and almost rebel take on the indie industry.
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
by Tom Bissell – 2011
What games really are and why they are so appealing to us? Sure we enjoy them, but to what extend? Tom Bissell takes time to reflect on the most fundamental questions of gaming: Why do we care about them. A simple question with deep meaning.
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
by David Kushner – 2004
Not unlike the Tetris Effect, Masters of Doom is another book focusing exclusively on a single milestone title, or more specifically on its creators. John Carmark and John Romero are to this day still some of the biggest video game personalities, and have been since the early 90s. A detailed recollection of the early Doom and Quake years at ID Software, this is a tale of mad genius, inflated egos and incredible success.
Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
by Jane McGonigal
What happens when you try to apply video game tropes to the real world? Bestselling author and game designer Jane McGonigal makes the case that games shouldn’t only be used as tools for escapism alone, that they can also help us in our daily lives from social issues, to obesity, or even global warming.
The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture
by Daniel Goldberg – 2015
The State of Play is a collection of short essay on video games, handpicked from 16 well known writers. From bestselling authors, to professional bloggers or news editor essays range from gamer identity, gender issues or political views.
Gamelife: A Memoir
by Michael W. Clune – 2015
A genuine recollection of how Michael W.Clune’s life changed from the time he played his first video game at age 7 (Suspended). Gamerlife retails his childhood through the games that shaped it, a story of coming of age in a digital era.
Ten books is a pretty short list of course, do you know of any other deserving a mention? Let us know!