Video Games

Stories and histories of new virtual playgrounds.



The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon and Beyond

By Steve Kent


Using hundreds of interviews, gaming historian Kent traces the cultural phenomenon of video games from before the arcade version of Space Invaders created a coin shortage in America, through the year when Atari was felled as the dominant home video game maker, and through to its continued effect on society today.



The Art of Game Worlds

By Dave Morris and Leo Hartas


Whether it’s total, beautiful fantasies, meticulous re-creations of real-world scenarios, or important moments in world history, some video game designers are creating generally overlooked but completely incredible art. The author interviews designers and developers to gain insight into the importance and difficulty of immersive video game design.




By William Gibson


Gibson’s critically lauded and massively influential cyberpunk science fiction novel of 1984 foresaw the digital future and inspired a home video game of the same name. Gibson, who coined the term “cyberspace,” tells the story of a washed-up hacker’s last shot in a game-like world.




Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

By Tom Bissell


Bissell, a self-declared video game addict, notes that his emotions while playing are "as intensely vivid as any I have felt while reading a novel or watching a film." Plenty seem to agree; an estimated 183.5 million Americans spent $25.3 billion on video games in financially difficult 2009. Bissell explores the trend in a work that combines memoir with reporting from the virtual frontier.




Directed By John Badham


The young Matthew Broderick plays a computer game fanatic—in the era of dial-up modems—who unknowingly breaks into a Pentagon computer and begins playing the “game” Global Thermonuclear War, which nearly sets off World War III. Wired magazine called the 1983 film the greatest geek movie of all time, one that inspired many hackers and programmers of the day.


April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.