The Video Game Explosion
A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond
by Mark J. P. Wolf, ed.
November 2007, 400pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-33868-7
$83, £62, 70€, A119
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08243-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Once dismissed as a fleeting fad of the young and frivolous, this booming industry has not only proven its staying power, but promises to continue driving the future of new media and emerging technologies. The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond traces the growth of a global phenomenon that has become an integral part of popular culture today.

The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond traces the growth of a global phenomenon that has become an integral part of popular culture today. All aspects of video games and gaming culture are covered inside this engaging reference, including the leading video game innovators, the technological advances that made the games of the late 1970s and those of today possible, the corporations that won and lost billions of dollars pursing this lucrative market, arcade culture, as well as the demise of free-standing video consoles and the rise of home-based and hand-held gaming devices.

In the United States alone, the video game industry raked in an astonishing $12.5 billion last year, and shows no signs of slowing. Once dismissed as a fleeting fad of the young and frivolous, this booming industry has not only proven its staying power, but promises to continue driving the future of new media and emerging technologies. Today video games have become a limitless and multifaceted medium through which Fortune 50 corporations and Hollywood visionaries alike are reaching broader global audiences and influencing cultural trends at a rate unmatched by any other media.

Reviews

"Comprehensive in scope, this book chronicles the development and technical aspects of video games and also profiles major video game companies....In 42 chapters, Wolf (communications, Concordia Univ.) and his fellow contributors detail 40 years of video game history, providing information that is invaluable (if sometimes overlapping). The essays look at the cultural impact of the games and address some of the social and ethical issues arising from the power of the interactive process....Recommended."—Choice, September 1, 2008

"Wolf's book offers an academic resource accessible to high school students that traces the evolution of video games, from the precursors of Computer Space and Pong to home systems like the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3."—Doug's Student Reference Room, July 1, 2008

"Arguably the most complete and thorough history of video games available, this book presents an amazing journey, from their roots in the giant mainframes of the mid-twentieth century to today's multibillion dollar worldwide industry in an interesting and accessible manner....Organized thematically within a chronological framework, this work may be read through as a history or used in sections by readers interested in specific aspects of video games....Teen librarians and library school students interested in gaming in libraries can gain deep practical knowledge from this book, and it is a must-read for anyone interested in working in the video game industry."—VOYA, April 1, 2008
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