Dec 19, 2013

What is a good, scholarly book about the development and art of video games?

My brother and I have an ongoing debate about the merits of video games as art. I would like to give him some books for Christmas that examine them from a scholarly perspective, no puff pieces. Are there any good ones that someone could suggest?


There are two that I would suggest. Extra Lives by Tom Bissell and Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven Kent. Tom Bissell is an accomplished journalist who writes from a more critical perspective, such as what makes a video game good, the use of narrative, etc. Extra Lives is covers the birth and development of the industry, and spends a lot of time on the Atari days and the Nintendo-led gaming renaissance of the 80s. The edition I have stops with the PS2/XBox/GameCube, and I’m not sure if has been updated. Even if it hasn't, it’s a pretty fascinating book. 

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