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  1. #1
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    Recommend books on PC gaming

    I've read some great books on gaming lately. Here are my recommendations with links to the (American) Amazon Kindle store where I bought 'em. I'd love to hear yours.

    The PC Gaming Reader: A best-of compilation from the PC Gamer UK magazine. Articles that deconstruct specific games and discuss gaming in general. Reviews and previews and retrospetives. Many giants of games journalism here like Graham Smith, Richard Cobbett, Tom Francis, and Kieron Gillen. A very entertaining read that had me laughing out loud more than once. Very well worth twice the $4 they ask, and I'll likely read it again and again over the years.

    The Making of Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner: The logs and journals of Jordan Mechner that talk as much about his games as his life, ambitions, and his nagging desire to work in film rather than the infuriating budding games industry. He's an articulate fellow and an engaging, earnest writer. You can read most of this content on his website for free but it's good enough to warrant the succinctly edited and compiled Kindle version.

    Masters of Doom by David Kushner: This author has a real verve for taking history and weaving it into a narrative. The successes, strains, and eventual falling out of "the two Johns" make for a good story and shed light on the intricacies and dedication invested in Apogee's and id's technologically innovative games. John Romero was good enough to reply to my correspondence confirming that the story and characters, warts and all, are accurate and fair though a tad caricatured for dramatic effect.

    Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto by David Kushner: The story of Rockstar Games, its parent Take Two, its founders the Houser brothers, and its opponent Jack Thompson. It's written in a similar format to Masters of Doom but I somehow didn't enjoy this one as much. Still, not unlike the GTA games themselves, this is a story of British folk and their outsiders' view of, and adjustment to, American life. Some enlightening discussion about censorship and the great burden the ESA bears to publicly defend the medium. The book's greatest feat is to cast the ridiculed, disbarred, and disgraced Jack Thompson as a sympathetic person with reasonable motivations based on his love for his child. I must commend Kushner for his even-handed omniscient.

    This Gaming Life by Jim Rossignol: A book about a medium of escapism that is a story of escapism in and of itself. Jim's autobiographical tales of his double life of a daytime banker and midnight fragger hit very close to home for me, and I cheered him on as he described the order of events that led to his seemingly preordained career in games journalism. With this established he continues on, interviewing gamers and developers, visiting faraway places, all in pursuit of answers to the question WHY DO WE GAME? It's serious and silly, philosophical and introspective, and, heartwarmingly paradoxical, equally introverted and extroverted. This book will strike a meaningful chord with anyone who can't quite put their finger on whether gaming is a hobby, a way of life, a waste of time, or all of the above. It's a book that leaves you full by asking more questions than it answers.

  2. #2
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    Nobody reads books about our beloved hobby? I need some recommendations, yo!

  3. #3
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    On the dev side of things, A Theory of Fun.

  4. #4
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    Replay: the History of Video Games has been on my Wishlist for a while, but I haven't got round to buying it yet.


  5. #5
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    Bump. What are some other good books?

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Matt_W's Avatar
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    Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form by Anna Anthropy. This book covers the emergence of the deep, weird, indie side of the indie games scene. She sees the democratizing of videogame development by tools like Twine and Inform and RPG Maker etc as an explosion of potential for telling stories and relating experiences that are out of the mainstream. It's an exuberant and optimistic book, a how-to manual for just getting out there and making your own game, and a tour of the barely scratched surface of the possibilities for interactive media.

  7. #7
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    This sounds pretty awesome.

  8. #8
    Obscure Node ThereIs0nly0ne's Avatar
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    Not PC gaming per se but The Ultimate History of Video Games is a good read. It covers pretty much everything from the birth of gaming through to a more recent time. There's lots of quotes and anecdotes from the big players and is a really interesting read. I'm an older gamer and I found reading some of the sections took me back to a magical time where there were no rules. The sections on Atari were particularly entertaining.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Matt_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThereIs0nly0ne View Post
    I'm an older gamer and I found reading some of the sections took me back to a magical time where there were no rules. The sections on Atari were particularly entertaining.
    You should check out Jimmy Maher's ongoing, magisterial history of videogames at The Digital Antiquarian. It will make your eyes bleed with how detailed and well-researched it is.

  10. #10
    Obscure Node ThereIs0nly0ne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_W View Post
    You should check out Jimmy Maher's ongoing, magisterial history of videogames at The Digital Antiquarian. It will make your eyes bleed with how detailed and well-researched it is.
    I will. Thanks very much for that!

    Edit: Looks right up my street. Thanks.
    Last edited by ThereIs0nly0ne; 13-09-2015 at 10:26 PM.

  11. #11
    Snow Crash and much of Stevenson's work

    Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams.

    Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson.

    Many more will come to me when I wake up properly I expect.

  12. #12
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    Not a recommendation but a question instead BUT:

    Has anyone read Jagged Alliance 2 by D. Kazemi? It interests me pretty much, but I haven't been able to force myself to buy it. How is it?

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