SCIENCES

8-Bit Apocalypse: The Untold Story of Atari's Missile Command

Overlook. Oct. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781468316445. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781468316452. TECH
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Rubens, a content manager at YouTube working in the realm of eSports, writes a journey into the early days of gaming. Before development teams and social media, there were individuals crafting arcade machines, often as individual efforts. The author tells this story through a series of interviews with programmers, managers, and other Atari employees, based on their days creating one of the first iconic video games in the 1970s. The solid, journalistic writing will attract readers, even if some of the profiles are more intriguing than others. Notably, Rubens shares how being dedicated to such a project impacted each creator, especially in terms of their mental, social, and physical health as passion devolved into obsession.
VERDICT A strong debut of gaming history from an author who has an obvious love for the subject. Besides drawing in gamers, this work will also appeal to those interested in the history of technology.

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