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.

DOOM

Author: Dan Pinchbeck
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472051915
Release Date: 2013-06-18
Genre: Games

A close examination about what is considered the most important first-person video game ever made and its influence on how we play games today

Jacked

Author: David Kushner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470936375
Release Date: 2012-04-03
Genre: Games

Offers a high-octane history of the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise, including its creation by a pair of British brothers, its evolution from one entry in the series to the next, the controversies surrounding it and much more.

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.

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.

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.

I Smell Esther Williams

Author: Mark Leyner
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307819604
Release Date: 2012-03-28
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.

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.

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.

Extra Lives

Author: Tom Bissell
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307379283
Release Date: 2010-06-08
Genre: Social Science

Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know. Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment. Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading. From the Hardcover edition.

The Ultimate History of Video Games

Author: Steven L. Kent
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
ISBN: 0307560872
Release Date: 2010-06-16
Genre: Social Science

Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning. This engrossing book tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand accounts of how yesterday's games like Space Invaders, Centipede, and Pac-Man helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today's empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you'll discover: ·The video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy ·The serendipitous story of Pac-Man's design ·The misstep that helped topple Atari's $2 billion-a-year empire ·The coin shortage caused by Space Invaders ·The fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega ·And much more! Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this book is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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.