The History of Video Games written by Charlie Fish and published by White Owl Books – £20.00 – Hardback – Pages 120

This book is a potted history of video games, telling all the rollercoaster stories of this fascinating young industry that’s now twice as big globally than the film and music industries combined. Each chapter explores the history of video games through a different lens, giving a uniquely well-rounded overview.

Packed with pictures and stats, this book is for video gamers nostalgic for the good old days of gaming, and young gamers curious about how it all began. If you’ve ever enjoyed a video game, or you just want to see what all the fuss is about, this book is for you.

There are stories about the experimental games of the 1950s and 1960s; the advent of home gaming in the 1970s; the explosion – and implosion – of arcade gaming in the 1980s; the console wars of the 1990s; the growth of online and mobile games in the 2000s; and we get right up to date with the 2010s, including such cultural phenomena as twitch.tv, the Gamergate scandal, and Fortnite.

But rather than telling the whole story from beginning to end, each chapter covers the history of video games from a different angle: platforms and technology, people and personalities, companies and capitalism, gender and representation, culture, community, and finally the games themselves.

This is the first time reviewing a book where I have lived through the subject the book is going on about. I remember my Dad getting a family computer in the early 80’s, and I think the first game was one called Android Attack and you loaded the game through a cassette player. The book certainly brought back lots of memories and it was great to see the old characters, and find out about the history of them. This was a really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed although I expect it will probably only have an appeal to people under 40, I imagine people over 40 would treat it with disdain and not give it the respect it deserves.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.