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Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture by Brad King, John Borland

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<pre>Author/s : Brad King, John Borland
Publisher : McGraw-Hill
Category : Other
Review by : Nathan Pruett
Rating : 6 horseshoes
</pre>
Dungeons and Dreamers takes us on a nostalgic ride through the evolution of computer games and computer gaming. The foundations of early computer games lie in the world of table-top role-playing games, and early computer games were an attempt by the developers to bring their experiences in those games into the digital realm. From the early text-based Adventure to the 3D First-Person shooters of today - the aim has been to share a sense of adventure with the players; and increasingly for players to experience this sense of adventure together. However, the focus here is not on the games themselves, but on the people that have produced the culture that computer gaming is today. The authors present this culture through biographical sketches and interesting anecdotes from the lives of developers, players and others that have been influential on it.
Unfortunately, this history of computer gaming doesn't go as in depth as I would like. The majority of the first half of this book focuses heavily on Richard "Lord British" Garriott and the "Ultima" series. The second half is more balanced; focusing initially on John Carmack and John Romero, then moving into coverage of more player-centered activities - LAN Parties, deathmatches, clans, conventions and MMORPGs. Overall, the "behind the scenes" stories of computer games and the culture that surrounds them are interesting and readable; I just wish the authors would have covered a wider range of the full computer gaming culture than they did.


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