Masters of Doom

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 9780812972153
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Presents a dual biography of John Carmack and John Romero, the creators of the video games Doom and Quake, assessing the impact of their creation on American pop culture and revealing how their success eventually destroyed their relationship.

Masters of Doom

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588362892
Release Date: 2003-04-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

“To my taste, the greatest American myth of cosmogenesis features the maladjusted, antisocial, genius teenage boy who, in the insular laboratory of his own bedroom, invents the universe from scratch. Masters of Doom is a particularly inspired rendition. Dave Kushner chronicles the saga of video game virtuosi Carmack and Romero with terrific brio. This is a page-turning, mythopoeic cyber-soap opera about two glamorous geek geniuses—and it should be read while scarfing down pepperoni pizza and swilling Diet Coke, with Queens of the Stone Age cranked up all the way.” —Mark Leyner, author of I Smell Esther Williams Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to co-create the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake—until the games they made tore them apart. Americans spend more money on video games than on movie tickets. Masters of Doom is the first book to chronicle this industry’s greatest story, written by one of the medium’s leading observers. David Kushner takes readers inside the rags-to-riches adventure of two rebellious entrepreneurs who came of age to shape a generation. The vivid portrait reveals why their games are so violent and why their immersion in their brilliantly designed fantasy worlds offered them solace. And it shows how they channeled their fury and imagination into products that are a formative influence on our culture, from MTV to the Internet to Columbine. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it’s like to be young, driven, and wildly creative. From the Hardcover edition.

Masters of Doom

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 9780812972153
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Presents a dual biography of John Carmack and John Romero, the creators of the video games Doom and Quake, assessing the impact of their creation on American pop culture and revealing how their success eventually destroyed their relationship.

Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588364944
Release Date: 2005-08-16
Genre: Games & Activities

If you think a gang of real-life geeks can’t take on the world and win big . . . think again. And whatever you do, don’t sit down across a gaming table from Jon Finkel, better known as Jonny Magic. Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids is his amazing true story: the jaw-dropping, zero-to-hero chronicle of a fat, friendless boy from New Jersey who found his edge in a game of cards–and turned it into a fortune. The ultimate bully-magnet, Finkel grew up heckled and hazed until destiny came in the form of a trading-card game called Magic: The Gathering. Magic exploded from nerdy obsession to mainstream mania and made the teenage Finkel an ultracool world champion. Once transformed, this young shark stormed poker rooms from the underground clubs of New York City to the high-stakes tables online, until he landed on the largest card-counting blackjack team in the country. Taking Vegas for millions, Finkel’s squad of brainy gamers became the biggest players in town. Then they took on the town’s biggest game, the World Series of Poker, and walked away with more than $3.5 million. Thrilling, edgy, and ferociously feel-good, the odyssey of these underdogs-turned-overlords is the stuff of pop-culture legend. And David Kushner, acclaimed author of Masters of Doom, masterfully deals out the outrageous details while bringing to life a cast of characters rife with aces, kings, knaves . . . and more than a few jokers. If you secretly believe every player has his day, you’re right. Here’s the proof. From the Hardcover edition.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Author: Harold Goldberg
Publisher: Crown Archetype
ISBN: 9780307463562
Release Date: 2011-04-05
Genre: Games & Activities

Through the stories of gaming's greatest innovations and most beloved creations, journalist Harold Goldberg captures the creativity, controversy--and passion--behind the videogame's meteoric rise to the top of the pop-culture pantheon. Over the last fifty years, video games have grown from curiosities to fads to trends to one of the world's most popular forms of mass entertainment. But as the gaming industry grows in numerous directions and everyone talks about the advance of the moment, few explore and seek to understand the forces behind this profound evolution. How did we get from Space Invaders to Grand Theft Auto? How exactly did gaming become a $50 billion industry and a dominant pop culture form? What are the stories, the people, the innovations, and the fascinations behind this incredible growth? Through extensive interviews with gaming's greatest innovators, both its icons and those unfairly forgotten by history, All Your Base Are Belong To Us sets out to answer these questions, exposing the creativity, odd theories--and passion--behind the twenty-first century's fastest-growing medium. Go inside the creation of: Grand Theft Auto * World of Warcraft * Bioshock * Kings Quest * Bejeweled * Madden Football * Super Mario Brothers * Myst * Pong * Donkey Kong * Crash Bandicoot * The 7th Guest * Tetris * Shadow Complex * Everquest * The Sims * And many more! From the Trade Paperback edition.

Alligator Candy

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451682601
Release Date: 2017-03-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

David Kushner grew up in the early 1970s in the Florida suburbs. It was when kids still ran free, riding bikes and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours. One morning in 1973, however, everything changed. David's older brother Jon biked through the forest to the convenience store for candy, and never returned. Decades later, now a grown man with kids of his own, Kushner found himself unsatisfied with his own memories and decided to revisit the episode a different way: through the eyes of a reporter. His investigation made him realize just how much his past had affected his present. After sifting through hundreds of documents, conducting dozens of interviews, and poring over numerous firsthand accounts, he has produced a powerful and inspiring story of loss, perseverance, and memory.

Where Wizards Stay Up Late

Author: Matthew Lyon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780684872162
Release Date: 1999-08-19
Genre: Social Science

Twenty five years ago, it didn't exist. Today, twenty million people worldwide are surfing the Net. Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the exciting story of the pioneers responsible for creating the most talked about, most influential, and most far-reaching communications breakthrough since the invention of the telephone. In the 1960's, when computers where regarded as mere giant calculators, J.C.R. Licklider at MIT saw them as the ultimate communications devices. With Defense Department funds, he and a band of visionary computer whizzes began work on a nationwide, interlocking network of computers. Taking readers behind the scenes, Where Wizards Stay Up Late captures the hard work, genius, and happy accidents of their daring, stunningly successful venture.

Super Mario

Author: Jeff Ryan
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101517638
Release Date: 2011-08-04
Genre: Business & Economics

The story of Nintendo's rise and the beloved icon who made it possible. Nintendo has continually set the standard for video-game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape. The saga of Mario, the portly plumber who became the most successful franchise in the history of gaming, has plot twists worthy of a video game. Jeff Ryan shares the story of how this quintessentially Japanese company found success in the American market. Lawsuits, Hollywood, die- hard fans, and face-offs with Sony and Microsoft are all part of the drama. Find out about: *Mario's eccentric yet brilliant creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, who was tapped for the job because was considered expendable. *Minoru Arakawa, the son-in-law of Nintendo's imperious president, who bumbled his way to success. *The unexpected approach that allowed Nintendo to reinvent itself as the gaming system for the non-gamer, especially now with the Wii Even those who can't tell a Koopa from a Goomba will find this a fascinating story of striving, comeuppance, and redemption.

Jacked

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118197936
Release Date: 2012-02-24
Genre: Games

Inside the making of a videogame that defined a generation: Grand Theft Auto Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest and most controversial videogame franchises of all time. Since its first release in 1997, GTA has pioneered the use of everything from 3D graphics to the voices of top Hollywood actors and repeatedly transformed the world of gaming. Despite its incredible innovations in the $75 billion game industry, it has also been a lightning rod of debate, spawning accusations of ethnic and sexual discrimination, glamorizing violence, and inciting real-life crimes. Jacked tells the turbulent and mostly unknown story of GTA's wildly ambitious creators, Rockstar Games, the invention and evolution of the franchise, and the cultural and political backlash it has provoked. Explains how British prep school brothers Sam and Dan Houser took their dream of fame, fortune, and the glamor of American pop culture and transformed it into a worldwide videogame blockbuster Written by David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom and a top journalist on gaming, and drawn from over ten years of interviews and research, including firsthand knowledge of Grand Theft Auto's creators and detractors Offers inside details on key episodes in the development of the series, including the financial turmoil of Rockstar games, the infamous "Hot Coffee" sex mini-game incident, and more Whether you love Grand Theft Auto or hate it, or just want to understand the defining entertainment product of a generation, you'll want to read Jacked and get the real story behind this boundary-pushing game.

Game Over

Author: David Sheff
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307800749
Release Date: 2011-11-02
Genre: Business & Economics

More American children recognize Super Mario, the hero of one of Nintendo’s video games, than Mickey Mouse. The Japanese company has come to earn more money than the big three computer giants or all Hollywood movie studios combined. Now Sheff tells of the Nintendo invasion–a tale of innovation and cutthroat tactics.

Rise of the Dungeon Master

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 9781568585604
Release Date: 2017-05-09
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels

Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand. Gygax was a purist, in the sense that he was adamant that players use their imaginations and that the rules of the game remain flexible. A creative mind with no real knowledge of business, he made some strategic errors and had a falling out with the game's co-creator, his close friend and partner, David Arneson. By the late 1970s the game had become so popular among kids that parents started to worry -- so much so that a mom's group was formed to alert parents to the dangers of role play and fantasy. The backlash only fueled the fires of the young fans who continued to play the game, escaping into imaginary worlds. Before long, D&D conventions were set up around the country and the game inspired everything from movies to the first video games. With D&D, Gygax created the kind of role playing fantasy that would fuel the multibillion dollar video game industry, and become a foundation of contemporary geek culture.

I Smell Esther Williams

Author: Mark Leyner
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679750451
Release Date: 1983
Genre: Fiction

A community theater's production of Special Yearnings triggers a string of underground nuclear explosions from St. Louis to Worcester, Massachusetts. A man frantically swats at the blaze that his girlfriend has ignited in his trousers, while her family tries to figure out whether his agonized sign language means "Under the Volcano" or "No Time for Sergeants." Charo, Marianne Faithfull, and Napoleon's sister swap glittering witticisms and pornographic come-ons with languid aesthetes and unhinged suburbanites. Such scenarios are just par for the course in this gloriously disorienting volume by Mark Leyner, author of My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist and Et Tu, Babe, and a writer who plays the English language the way Jimi Hendrix played the guitar: at blinding speed, dangerous volume, and with a perfect mixture of lyricism and sheer menace.

Power Up

Author: Chris Kohler
Publisher: Courier Dover Publications
ISBN: 9780486816425
Release Date: 2016-10-10
Genre: Games & Activities

Enjoyable and informative examination of how Japanese video game developers raised the medium to an art form. Includes interviews, anecdotes, and accounts of industry giants behind Donkey Kong, Mario, Pokémon, and other games.

Console Wars

Author: Blake J. Harris
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062276711
Release Date: 2014-05-13
Genre: Business & Economics

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, Slate, Publishers Weekly, Goodreads Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry. In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo. The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan. Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.