Published: 21 April 2020
Series: The Great Courses
Format Read: Audible
Duration: 4h 40mins
Since their arrival in the mid-20th century, video games have become a sprawling, multi-billion dollar business. On an annual basis, the industry is even more profitable than Hollywood. Today’s video games feature stunning, lifelike visuals and complex storylines – but they didn’t start out that way.
The origin of video games can be traced back to World War II. In the 10 lectures of A History of Video Games, listeners will follow the development of the digital game from its roots in the war room to its proliferation in the 21st-century living room. Taught by journalist, podcast host, and video game historian Jeremy Parish, this lively course will track the tremendous leaps made in computing technology that allowed games to become increasingly sophisticated and the popular trends that pushed the boundaries of technology forward.
The story of video games is not just about technology. It’s also about popular culture, economics, and globalization. Throughout these lectures, students will learn about the extremely profitable gaming industry, as well as the creative minds and ambitious projects that helped build it – and even encounter a few spectacular failures. Be prepared to:
Witness the precipitous rise and fall of Atari
Experience the birth of blockbuster gaming systems like NES and Sega Genesis
Learn about the evolution of the console, PC, and portable gaming
Explore the creation of iconic game series, such as Mario Bros., Pac-Man, and Pokémon
From the simple pleasures of Pong to the complex online world of Fortnite, video games have come a long way over the course of seven decades, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Listeners will surely reminisce about their own experience with gaming as they learn more about this exciting industry, phenomenon, and pastime.
Well folks, with that big GoodReads synopsis, I do not think I have a lot to say apart from that I liked this quite a bit. I am a little bit of a gamer myself. A casual gamer at that. While I have not been able to put out game reviews as I have finished them since we went into lockdown last year, I would still like to do so. A History of Video Games is very much like The History of Rum I read and reviewed last month. It gives a clear view of where it all started up to where we are at today. If gaming was or is your thing, feel free to give this a listen. I gave it a 4 out of 5. I could follow the narrator easily enough. I got lost here and there as things were explained on the technical side, but that is by no means the fault of book. My gaming knowledge does not extend to the jargon used within the field. The book does explain each technical aspect as it goes along so it did not take me out of the reading at all. It was an all good listening experience for me. Pick it up if you have 4 hours to spare and if gaming is among your interests lists. Thats as much as I can say for this review.