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High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games Paperback – April 27, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Ultimate History of Electronic Games

"...overflowing with color screenshots, package art, reproductions of old game ads, shots of old machines, and photos of collectibles. Every picture triggers another memory, and before long you're awash in blissful recollections..."--Computer Gaming World, August '02

"...300+ pages offer a visually compelling record of the origins and development of electronic entertainment, so buy it for the pictures of rare game boxes and screens... it's a great nostalgia trip for old-timers and a primer on the industry's storied past for the less ancient reader."--Computer Games, August '02

"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

In this lavishly illustrated full-color retrospective, you'll learn how electronic games blossomed from their humble origins as a hobby for programmers at computer science laboratories to a multi-billion dollar industry. Along the way you'll learn the fascinating human stories--told in their own words--of the people who created the games, built the companies, and had a vision that changed the world. Here is the inside scoop--featuring stories that have never been told in print before--of the triumphs, the tricks of fate, and even the spectacular failures that have led to today's high-voltage games industry. High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games is the first history that covers not only arcades and home gaming systems but the popular PC games industry as well.

You'll find never-before-seen photos that bring to life the people and stories behind the most popular games of all time, including...

  • Space Invaders
  • Pac-Man
  • Centipede
  • Zork
  • Donkey Kong
  • Dragon's Lair
  • Asteroids
  • Legend of Zelda
  • Doom
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Ultima
  • King's Quest
  • Wizardry
  • SimCity
  • Quake
  • Myst
  • Tomb Raider
  • ...And Many More!

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill (April 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072224282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072224283
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I agree with those who love this book to pieces and also those who find serious fault with it. The fact is, it's really really nice in a lot of ways. I love the layout, the lavish color photography, etc. And it does TRY to cover everything. Unfortunately, there are just a few too many holes for my liking, and a few too many things that were just glossed over. First of all, it's really annoying to me how they insert this 120 page section on the history of individual computer game companies, one after another, into the middle of an otherwise mixed, chronological history. While computer game history suffers from such less-than-optimal organization, console game history suffers from a lack of sufficiently extensive coverage to begin with. Certain MAJOR consoles don't even get a passing reference; for example, the Magnavox Odyssey 2. It was the sole major competitor for the Atari VCS for two or three years, but according to this book it might as well have never existed. Various other consoles, also, are completely absent or get barely any coverage, particularly those of the 90s. You like arcade game history? Great, you'll be totally satisfied as long as you think arcade games disappeared from the face of the earth after 1985.
Anyway, I have my problems with the book, but I don't regret buying it, not for a second. It's still really really nice to have and page through, and covers a lot of good stuff impeccably.
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By A Customer on May 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this book from a dear friend and was absolutely overwhelmed by how beautifully well laid out it was. The history of electronic games is well documented and shows how far we have come from the days of "Pong!". For those of you into computer games or arcade games, this is a definite "history" book about our hobby. My personal odyssey began with the Atari 2600 game system, followed by the Atari PC, Apple Macintosh and finally the IBM PC. As I read through the book I was taken back to how fun the games were back then. Memories of playing games from new game companies back then such as Broderbund, Lucasarts and now defunct Origin came rushing back. The endless hours that I spent playing "M.U.L.E." and "Rescue on Fractalus" brought a smile to my face as I saw each game talked about in the book. Reading about the pioneers such as Lord British and his star rising in the gaming scene was quite informative and entertaining. If you grew up playing games on an Amiga or Commodore 64 or an Atari 2600 you will want to get this book to show your kids what it was like before 3D graphics and virtual reality! I will treasure this book for as long as I live!
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Format: Paperback
Well...that's what I was looking for...a complete sum of history of videogames in a cool book..without the need to buy a 3000 pages encyclopedia.
I'm a 36 year old guy..I had a VCS 2600 , Intellivision and other consoles..and was a teenage arcades fan, and I found in this book all the glittering past that I still recall. Many photos, many particulars, stories, adds and much more materials than I could believe. The book is the right size, it's HEAVY and it has a great "touch" feeling..
You cannot miss this book if you were mad for arcades and consoles. And if you still recall it...you still are mad for that ! :-)
Recommended for nostalgics like me...and keep it aside your pac man original arcade in the living room..to astonish better your friends :-)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book may seem a little pricey, but it's worth it. It covers an incredible amount of information (albeit not in the depth some might want)-But the thing that allows it to rise above in my opinion is the high quality, HUGE range of photographs, some very rare. As games are a visual medium, this is important to me. Home games or arcade games, both are covered well, and the beautiful layout will have you returning to this book again and again.
The 'Ultimate Guide to video games' (Also available) goes into greater details, but has very few photos-I prefer this, but I would recommend both to any game fan, as both are excellent, and together they make a fantastic companion set.
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By A Customer on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has become the all-time favourite around the office, despite almost none of us being anything like hard core gamers. Just take a quick flick through High Score's pages and you will immediately see why.
I haven't played games for years. I've got Riven, two editions of Myst, once owned SimCity 2000 and kept copies of a 3D version of Breakout and a Centipede clone on the Mac for my wife to bang away at after a hard day at work. And a form of Dungeons and Dragons was popular on the mainframe computer stashed away in the Physics department when I was at art school. I rarely played, but I was impressed by the invention, the creativity so evident in games and gaming, although I do have my reservations about shoot'em ups.
Flicking through High Score brought all those memories to vivid life, and reminded me of the good times I had around computer games in the past. The book is an amazing repository of electronic games history, lavishly illustrated with full colour screenshots, storyboards and sketches, packshots, PR photos and developer group portraits, and all those games consoles, cabinets and computers that are now long gone but not forgotten.
There is a legion of fascinating stories, too, about companies once at the top of the field but now vanished, high hopes and dashed dreams, amazing inventiveness, and truly remarkable individuals. I have read and reread High Score many times now, and each read is as rewarding as all the others. This is a classic.
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