a history of Video games in 64 objects
PUBLISHER: Dey street BOOKS
Few things can connect you more quickly to a place or time in history than an object. There’s something about a physical artefact of the subject that makes it seem more real, more relatable and so it is with this excellent collection from the World Video Game Hall Of fame at The Strong national Museum Of Play in rochester, new York. along with things you might expect like copies of Super Mario Bros or Tetris and even a dugup copy of ET, this book chronicles some of the connected historical items that fed into or were tangential to the growth of electronic play.
So, along with arcade cabinets and some fantastic design documents (such as Jordan Mechner’s original photo sources for rotoscoping the animation in Prince Of Persion), you will find electronic games like Simon, Mattel football, and the Speak & Spell. On top of this, the book includes looks at nintendo’s Love Tester from 1969, an early foray into electronic entertainment, of a sort, many years before the company moved into videogames.
It’s these connected items that offer some of the most interesting historical insight into the growth of gaming both as an entertainment form and as a cultural phenomenon. a good example of the later is ralph Baer’s Light anti-tank Weapon, built from a decommissioned rocket launcher for a virtual tank shooting experience. It was both an early example of light gun technology from 1979 and of early military interest in the application of electronic simulation for training purposes.
It’s safe to say that we found this to be a fascinating book that breaks well out from the confines of traditional retrospectives, and is all the stronger and more 8/10 interesting for it. Verdict www.harpercollins.co.uk