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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Errors - but a good read overall, November 21, 2011
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This review is from: All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture (Paperback)
I usually don't review other writers' books, but this one was so filled with errors that I was truely dissapointed while reading it. I'll list some of them. I have to say that, although I enjoyed the book, the errors were very distracting.

Page 1: "In 1966, Ralph Baer, a short, bespectacled man with a deep, radio-quality voice and a sharp wit, had been a successful engineer for thirty years."

If this is true, then Baer became a successful engineer in 1936 when he was 14 years old, and two years before he fled Nazi Germany.

Page 20: "The testing ground for Pong, the very first arcade game, was a newly opened bar in the Silicon Valley."

But Pong was not the first arcade game, Computer Space was. And the book says that on the following page.

Page 34: "At first, no one was interested in the home version (of Pong), even when the game was shown to retailers at New York City's famous and chaotic Toy Fair. Part of the Toy Fair debacle was due to Bushnell and his people being wet behind the ears. Their space for Toy Fair wasn't in the building at Broadway and Twenty-third Street where most business was done. It was far away (in the Jacob Javits Convention Center). Few stopped by."

Home Pong came out in 1975. The Jacob Javits Convention Center opened in 1986.

Page 42-43: "Wozniak pocketed $375, but Jobs kept the remainder of the $5,000. When Wozniak discovered what Jobs had been paid, his hacker heart, which had led him to work on Breakout for art's sake, was broken. Wozniak never really trusted Jobs completely again - even though they went on to create Apple together"

Wozniak didn't learn about how Jobs screwed him on Breakout until 1984, years after they started Apple, when he learned about it while reading a book about Atari during a flight to Fort Lauderdale.

Page 45: "Stella, with its eight-bit graphics processor, became the Atari 2600, proudly nicknamed the Video Computer System (VCS)."

It wasn't nicknamed the Video Computer System, it was called that. It didn't start being called the 2600 until 1982, after the 5200 was released.

Page 53: "On December 8, 1982, after horrible earnings were reported to the public, the stock plummeted. .....No eyes were sewn shut, and no one had to lie prostrate on the ground, but New Atari owner Jack Tramiel, formerly president of Commodore International, butchered the staff from two thousand to a few hundred."

Tramiel bought Atari in 1984.

Page 242: "In 1999, much of Sony Online Entertainment's early work was with casual games......Sony's PlayStation 2, which played games and DVDs, had been released that past March to great acclaim......Some of this chapter is informed by my firsthand experience in working with the casual genre while employed at Sony Online Entertainment."

The PS2 was released in Asia in March 2000 and in North America in October 2000.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2011, 9:26:09 PM PST
Errors aside, which probably only I would notice, this is a good book. I did enjoy it and learned a lot from it. I wrote this review during a fit of anger over another book and was pissed off how books could get published by major publishers and not be fact-checked.

Posted on Jul 22, 2012, 11:01:14 AM PDT
Jason B. says:
I don't usually critique comments, but you decided to pick apart a book based on errors...and the first line of your comment contains the word "truely":

"I usually don't review other writers' books, but this one was so filled with errors that I was truely dissapointed while reading it. I'll list some of them. I have to say that, although I enjoyed the book, the errors were very distracting."

Just thought it was ironic.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012, 6:33:21 PM PST
Gaia says:
Jason, I was thinking the exact same thing! I stopped reading his review because of this. It was truly distracting!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2013, 8:23:07 PM PDT
@Athena: Seriously? You stopped reading a review because of a typo? Does the typo make the reviewer's critique any less valid? Do you apply the same logic to books or articles in the Internet, or for that matter, 99% of all Facebook posts?

@James: A typo is a far less egregious error than a factual error which is really what the reviewer is getting at.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013, 8:08:58 PM PDT
It's not a typo - it's a misspelled word. In fact, the very next word is spelled incorrectly (it's "disappointed," not "dissapointed"). And for my own part, if I read a published work from an author who can't spell, then yes, I usually question the validity of such a career choice.

That being said, this person is not a professional writer, and his misspelled words don't change the fact that this book is rife with errors. Another review called out many other errors regarding specific video games.

Finally, to the review itself, I agree with everything in the review except the overall rating. This book is a mess, and it goes to show just how little our supposed gaming journalists know about their craft.

Posted on Mar 7, 2014, 6:58:17 PM PST
Cory Etzel says:
Pong was the first ARCADE game, Computer Space was the first COMPUTER game. There is nothing wrong with that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2014, 8:01:24 PM PDT
This is incorrect. Computer Space was the first commercially available coin-operated arcade game. PONG was the second commercially available coin-operated arcade game. However, PONG was the first SUCCESSFUL commercially available coin-operated arcade game.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2014, 9:35:45 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 10, 2014, 9:40:17 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2015, 3:15:50 PM PDT
It's hard to trust any book that makes so many errors in just the first 3 chapters, which is where I stopped reading it.

Posted on Jul 4, 2016, 9:35:57 AM PDT
isnt the bok title even grammatically incorrect??
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