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High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games, Second Edition Paperback – December 18, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 2 edition (December 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072231726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072231724
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 9.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Ultimate History of Electronic Games

“This is a great work that shows the humanity, creativity, and passion inside the art and business of games. The public is playing a lot of games today, and Rusel's and Johnny's fine book gives them a terrific look behind the scenes.” --Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts and 3DO

“As an industry veteran, I am excited to see that Rusel and Johnny have poured their hard work and talent into creating this visual and textual compendium of the history of computer entertainment. Just as I was, I think you will be amazed to see how far we've come in so few years. The pictorial content of this book represents a glimpse at great milestones of our recent past that are quickly going to be impossible to see, perhaps ever again, outside this volume.” --Richard Garriott, computer gaming pioneer, developer of the Ultima series of games, and founder of Origin Systems

This lavishly illustrated full-color retrospective takes you on a guided tour of the evolution of electronic games from blips on a tiny screen in a computer science lab to the multi-billion-dollar industry it has become today. Hundreds of images of arcades, consoles, and PC games span more than 30 years of game history from the beginning to the present day. Meet the people who changed the world of entertainment and hear the tales of their amazing successes and spectacular failures--including many stories that have never been told in print before.

Rusel DeMaria has been a participant and observer in the electronic gaming industry since its inception. He has written nearly 60 strategy guides and is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of that book genre. DeMaria has been a senior editor and columnist for several national magazines, a speaker at the prestigious Computer Game Developer’s Conference as well as other industry events.

Johnny L. Wilson has been group publisher for Wizards of the Coast periodicals (Dragon, Dungeon, Star Wars Gamer, and Star Wars Insider magazines) and editor-in-chief of Computer Gaming World magazine, the world’s oldest PC-specific game magazine. A game reviewer for more than 17 years, he has made frequent appearances as a computer game historian/expert on the History Channel, National Public Radio, and a variety of local television newsmagazines.

About the Author

Rusel DeMaria (Grants Pass, OR) has been an observer and/or participant in the electronic gaming industry since its inception. Beginning in 1980, he began writing professionally about games. He has written nearly 60 strategy guides and is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of that book genre. In addition to his books, Rusel has been a senior editor and columnist for several national magazines. Johnny L. Wilson (Seattle, WA) is Group Publisher for Wizards of the Coast’s magazine group, which includes Dragon, Dungeon, Top Deck, Star Wars Gamer and Star Wars Insider. He is perhaps better known as the former editor-in-chief of Computer Gaming World (1992-1999), the premier magazine for computer-gaming fans.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
A very good book, but you can tell that the authors' love is really computer gaming.
Hugh M. Anderson
The book includes some very interesting facts and an in depth scope which proves too entertaining to put down.
Mode7
It does a great job of telling the history of gaming and includes plenty of insider quotes and point-of-views.
Nathaniel Riggins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Big Joe '83 on July 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Searching for books on this topic is infuriating considering since electronic games is a broad subject and reaches various elements. (But hey, so is film and music.) Usually you'll find books that only cover the old arcade games, or some which only cover games of today on the PS2 and X-BOX while barely mentioning anything about the past games we grew up with, and this is twice a hassle if you're a PC gamer. But this book has the lot and it covers it brilliantly. It mentions the well known titles we see everywhere else like Mario and Sonic and all the familiar faces but delves deeps into eras that the average game would have no idea about or have forgotten such as the contributions by Trilobyte or Dragon's Lair.
Personally it would have been great if they had included some of the PC favorites like Sam & Max, Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall and Little Big Adventure but for what it's worth the quantity of games the book discusses is remarkable. I'm glad that a publication like this can get out there to new gamers out there who have perhaps forgotten or have never seen games in 2-D or in less than 256 colors and they can see for themselves the culture in which a lot of us grew up in and how it has changed over the years. (For better or for worse.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Navarro L. Parker on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An amazing and comprehensive picturebook of all electronic games through history (not just "video" games). This book has some great photos of consoles and game prototypes you may have never heard about -- like the Atari Game Brain and Cosmos. It's just packed with images on thick glossy paper. My only complaints is there were no images of the very first videogame, "Tennis for Two". The book is also so thick and heavy, I don't know how long the binding will last under multiple readings. But these are minor gripes. A must have if you are interested in the beginnings of electronic entertainment.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Adam Moore on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is filled with inaccuracies. I know that it can be difficult to seperate myth and legend from historical fact when it comes to the history of electronic gaming. For example, look at the variations of the story of Pong in Andy Capp's bar. Unfortunately, even some of the captions next to pictures are wrong.

If you're looking for a book about the history of electronic gaming, I recommend The Ultimate History of Video Games (ISBN 0-7615-3643-4) by Steven L. Kent. However, inaccuracies aside, this book is good as a visual aid to supplement Kent's book. This book is filled with pictures, while Kent's book is filled with text.

Also, do not expect this book to have a very long lifespan. It is glue bound and the pages will start to fall out after repeated use.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Smith on December 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Perhaps there are only a few changes since the first edition, but if you've never read the first edition, this is a must-get for video game fans.

Full-color photos of hardware, screenshots, and gaming popular culture (e.g. Atari high score patches) take you through video game history. Not only are systems like Atari, Coleco, Intellevision, Nintendo, Sony, and Sega looked at, the authors also look at specific games and milestones for each hardware platform. A lot of obscure systems are covered and even computers from Commodore, Coleco, Atari, Apple, etc.

The authors have done a great job. From the Nintendo Game and Watch series to Sid Meier's Pirates, a great deal of video game history (past to present) and even memories (for some) are contained within the book. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mode7 on March 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
High Score is a very interesting and comprehensive game history with illustration and photography from behind the scenes in one of the world's largest industries. You will find never before seen photos of Shigeru Miyamato (Super Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong) and many others from different companies and times. The book includes some very interesting facts and an in depth scope which proves too entertaining to put down. I sat down to read this book every time I walked into my local book store until finally I decided that I simply must have it for my guests and friends. Take a trip down memory lane to when games were 8-bit and walk back to current events. This 2nd edition contains new games from Playstation 2, Gamecube, and XBox and the PC. You will simply love this book if you enjoy nostalgia and retrospectives.
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By C. Morelock on March 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
There aren't many books about video game history. It's a sad fact for many of us gamers, and game companies are eager to push to the future while forgetting what's been left behind. Well, High Score is a very good chronicle of "The Story So Far", written by two guys who have been around for much of the ride, Johnny Wilson and Rusel DeMaria. The book gives a pretty good description (however brief) of most of the influential companies in gaming's history, and has plenty of visual punch, with lots of screenshot, box art, and developer photos. My only gripes are that it's not terribly detailed and once again, the binding. But for a good view of the big picture, High Score scores high in content and presentation.
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By Mystic0 on April 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been designing games for a while now and started programming them. This book was a good book to reference games to see what I could and couldn't program.

As for the actual content of the book... the author makes the material interesting. His organization of the book could have been better. It goes in chronological order (most of the time). The visual design of the book is outstanding. The appendix in the back is good.

Its a great book for the most part.
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