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Even though I have been a part of this industry since I joined Atari in 1978, I still find it interesting to hear what was going on with others in the games business. I look forward to the release of this book. -- Ed Logg, Super Duper Game Guy, Midway Games, and programmer of Asteroids Supercade is an outstanding tribute to the industry of electronic videogames. Thorough yet concise, the book is perfect for the casual reference or as the primary text for students of the world's favorite contemporary pastime. -- Donald A. Thomas, Jr., Curator of I.C. When and former marketing manager of Atari It's about time for a book to comprehensively review the history and evolution of the dynamic videogame world -- fortunately, Supercade is that book. -- Ralph H. Baer, The Father of Home Videogames and inventor of the Magnavox Odyssey Van Burnham has dedicated herself to classic gaming journalism like no other. She's not just a writer...she's a GAMER! -- Joe Santulli, Editor-in-Chief of Digital Press

About the Author

Van Burnham is a Contributing Editor at Wired magazine and a member of the Video Arcade Preservation Society.


Initially thought to be mere fads, video games have become entrenched in global popular culture. These two books use different approaches to document the phenomenon. Kent, a freelance writer, interviewed video game innovators such as Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani, among hundreds of others, to provide a definitive history. He includes photos of the major video game players and quotes extensively from his interviewees in an academic but highly readable style. The promised index will be needed to navigate the text, but this remains a fascinating and well-researched account of the games many of us grew up with or have encountered in an arcade. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

...[A] satisfying, illuminating read. Recommended for hardcore gamers (and ex-gamers) of all ages.

-Dominic Al-Badri , Kansai Time Out, Japan

...Big, glossy, comprehensive...a blitz of zippy words and zappy graphics.

-Iain Finlayson, The Times Weekend Review

Who can resist a book that opens by tying invention of the video game to development of the atom bomb?

-Computer Gaming World

Burnham's done a splendid job of recreating the cathode-lit dens and arcades of our youth...

-Bill Smith, LA Weekly

It's impossible to praise this book too highly.

-Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's

...[M]akes a crucial point...the 'golden age' of video games kick-started an entertainment industry that now rivals Hollywood.

-Erik Davis, Bookforum

...this book, programmers, and machines that arose from nothing more than the desire to create the perfect game.

-Fin Fahey , New Scientist

The generation now in its 30s pumped innumerable quarters into free-standing video consoles with protruding joysticks, steering wheels, and "fire" buttons the quaint precursors of today's dollar-based sensory overload and sleekly sophisticated home systems. Burnham, an L.A.-based Wired contributing editor and a member of the Video Arcade Preservation Society, lovingly collects screen shots of faves like Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Q*bert, along with early games like Computer Space and Pong, and home games from Atari and Nintendo. The cheeky capsule descriptions of each game from Burnham and others are matched with longer essays from writers like Julian Dibble (My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World), who writes about the text-based game Adventure, and former Feed editor Steven Johnson (Emergence) on Atari competitor Intellivision. The chronological organization holds the book's disparate games and players together adequately, but readers looking for a straight narrative history should look elsewhere: this is all about memory jogging and rapturous description. Notably, Burnham did the book's text, design and production; the layout is quirky and provocative but not disorienting, and the print quality is excellent. (Nov.) Forecast: While the book can't compete with the actual experience of playing the games, Burnham's time capsule will given as a gift among gamers (not a small subculture), and browsers from its demographic will at least flip through. The MIT imprint could lead to some campus acquisitions, especially for schools with modern media and culture departments. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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