Encyclopedia of Video Games

The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming

by Mark J. P. Wolf, Editor


Video games are far more significant to society than they may seem. They were the first form of interactive audiovisual multimedia, introduced consumers to computer technology, and were one of the main selling points for early home computers, launching the digital age for the general public. The technologies developed for gaming also have applications with tangible benefit and value outside of entertainment—as the basis for training simulators, for example.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Encyclopedia of Video Games

August 2012


Pages 763
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Popular Culture/Sports, Recreation, and Leisure

This encyclopedia collects and organizes theoretical and historical content on the topic of video games, covering the people, systems, technologies, and theoretical concepts as well as the games themselves.

This two-volume encyclopedia addresses the key people, companies, regions, games, systems, institutions, technologies, and theoretical concepts in the world of video games, serving as a unique resource for students. The work comprises over 300 entries from 97 contributors, including Ralph Baer and Nolan Bushnell, founders of the video game industry and some of its earliest games and systems. Contributing authors also include founders of institutions, academics with doctoral degrees in relevant fields, and experts in the field of video games.

Organized alphabetically by topic and cross-referenced across subject areas, Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming will serve the needs of students and other researchers as well as provide fascinating information for game enthusiasts and general readers.


  • More than 300 A–Z cross-referenced and integrated entries, from Atari to Zelda
  • Dozens of screenshots and photographs
  • A "Further Reading" bibliography section is included with many entries


  • Stands alone as a unique encyclopedia supporting student research on video games
  • Contributions from nearly 100 writers with a wealth of credentials and variety of expertise
  • Provides cross-referenced entries that enable historical perspective and greater comprehension
Author Info

Mark J. P. Wolf is professor in the Department of Communication at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, WI. His published works include Before the Crash: Early Video Game History; Myst and Riven: The World of the D'ni; The Video Game Theory Reader 2; The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond; The Video Game Theory Reader; and The Medium of the Video Game.



"This book offers well-written and informative entries on many topics relevant to game studies."Choice

"The articles are written by an expert group of close to 100 contributors and discuss each topic in a clear writing style—even the more technology-oriented pieces. . . . Overall, this set is well done and fills a void nicely. It is recommended for all collections."ARBA

". . . this resource goes well beyond a narrow appeal to students of pop culture."School Library Journal


"I have to say that your material is the most succinct and accurate that I've seen. Congratulations!"

—Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari

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