The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution

Jack McGowan (illus.). Ten Speed: Crown. Oct. 2017. 192p. ISBN 9780399578908. pap. $18.99; ebk. ISBN 9780399578915. GAMES
The history of video games is a complex one, full of both technical wizardry and business maneuvering, which can be confusing for anyone studying the medium's evolution. This volume offers a nice balance for readers seeking highlights of the major events and figures and wishing not to get lost in a labyrinth of detail. Crisp, sharp, full-color art from McGowan, more than a little inspired by modern animation, speeds alongside a researched yet readable narrative from Hennessey (The U.S. Constitution; Alexander Hamilton), showcasing the technological advances that propelled the growth of the industry and the company ventures that in turn strengthened and weakened the products' commercial greatness. Hennessey uses definitive games (e.g., Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Minecraft) as touch points, and few industry experts would argue with his selections or their role in radically altering gaming throughout time.
VERDICT An approachable introduction for those starting a deeper study, though still a bit too academic for casual and/or younger gamers or anyone more interested in competitive gaming.
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