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Replay: The History of Video Games [Paperback]

Tristan Donovan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £12.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 April 2010
A riveting account of the strange birth and remarkable evolution of the most important development in entertainment since television, Replay is the ultimate history of video games. Based on extensive research and over 140 exclusive interviews with key movers and shakers from gaming's past, Replay tells the sensational story of how the creative vision of game designers gave rise to one of the world's most popular and dynamic art forms.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Ant Media Ltd (20 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956507204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956507204
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"While other history books have covered the topic, Tristan Donovan's 500-page tome is the most wide-ranging history I've read."

"An amazing work. Comprehensive and wide ranging - yet engrossing and splendidly entertaining. If you read only one history of video games - Replay is it." --Eugene Jarvis, creator of Defender, Narc and Smash TV

"Tons of interviews with creators, a window into early US and Europe PC industry stuff I'd never read about before at all... very enjoyable and informative reading." --Christian Nutt, Gamasutra

"Tristan Donovan's account is the most comprehensive thus far...He details with great insight the people and events that led to what is the most powerful creative field today."
--Richard Garriott (aka Lord British), creator of the Ultima series

I can't think of a reason that you shouldn't go and order a copy of it immediately...If you enjoy reading about games, there's absolutely no way that you're not going to find spending quality time with this rewarding.
-- Kieron Gillen, Rock Paper Shotgun

Whether you grew up with your eyes glued to Adventure or Super Mario Bros, with your hand around a joystick or inside a Nintendo Power Glove, this is one history lesson worth its weight in quarters.
-- Rob Lott, Bookgasm

Striking a near-perfect balance between art and commerce, Replay is the most comprehensive history of videogames so far.
-- Edge

Essential reading
-- GamesTM

About the Author

Tristan Donovan has written about video games for The Guardian, Edge, Game Developer, Stuff, The Gadget Show, GamesTM and many other publications. He lives in East Sussex, UK.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Game entertainment at its very best! 23 May 2010
Video Game entertainment at its very best!

I have certain nostalgia for the days of monochrome video games. Endless hours locked in a room watching a white square bounce across a screen controlled with two `paddles', later Sunday mornings in the pub with 10p to play the space invaders. I therefore approached this book with a degree of expectation; and was not disappointed.

Tristan Donovan's book explores the growth and development in games from their scientific origins through the multi million marketing budgets of today's epics. The book also does so much more, investigating the social and economic drivers of the market as well as the technological enablers. It also happens to be funny, entertaining and very well written.

Replay will be of as much interest and entertainment to a student of sociology or cultural anthropologist as it will to us 40-something `Geeks' with a longing for the golden times of video gaming.

A great book - highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive and entertaining read. 22 Sep 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
For anyone considering this book, or it's closest competitor (that I've seen) "The ultimate history of video games.", my advice would be to buy this one. This book gives a much broader story of the development of video games, with much more in depth details of European developments (British, French and the Demo scene are well covered). As well as some things I had not previously encountered (having been a gamer for 30 odd years and following retro games for about a decade), like Hasbro's aborted Nemo VHS based console.

There are a few error I've spotted (The protagonist in Half Life is GORDON Freeman, not George). But a few quibbles aside an enjoyable and enlightening book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I was searching for a book about the history of video games and after reading a few samples I plumped for this one. I haven't been disappointed. I particularly like the way it covers all the international video games market and not just the US and UK markets. I would love an interactive version of this book as I'm constantly switching between my Kindle app and the YouTube app to see videos of the games the author is talking about!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 31 Aug 2011
This book brought back some good memories. But the background and history to the games and games companies is a real eye opener. I seriously couldn't put it down. If anyone remembers playing space invaders the first time round they will enjoy this book. Well written and in a fairly comprehsive time line it tells the video game story from the early days up to presentish day. A damn good read at a good price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I hoped for! 16 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband for Christmas and he was thrilled! He said the reading is heavy, but it is very full of historical info. Perfect for any die hard gamer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 22 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really good book for lovers of video games, who have an interest in how it all came about. I haven't quite finished it yet, but have read enough to know it is really interesting. I bought it to research Mel Croucher and his software industry, which includes Deus Ex Machina, (of which he has a new release waiting in the wings complete with his own book, etc), and was not disappointed. This book covers so much video games history, it really is a great buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read for a kid from the 80s 23 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I haven't read a book for ages, but I couldn't put this down. I remember the Pong Games, but the start of video games for me was on the ZX Spectrum and arcade machines in the local chippy.

This book covers most of the games that I grew up, with the history behind them and the lead up the Video Games scene in 201Xs.

A great read, and I would hearty recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A well-researched book 23 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I actually enjoyed reading this from a business perspective, as so many of the early games were created and sold by small working partnerships - it's good to see how you can have an idea and then make some decent money out of making it happen, whether or not that was your original intention.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining for anyone and useful for Media Studies teachers
I teach the video games industry to yr13 students and ordered this and a few other academic texts to use and I have to say that not only was this the best and most useful for... Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. Gillibrand
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 Up
Deeply impressive examination of video game creation, culture and commerce. Scholarly in approach and scope its global perspective is particularly satisfying. Read more
Published on 2 Jun 2012 by fearofgordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, and wide-ranging
Entertaining and informative, and covering nearly every continent, which gives a nice view of the differences between cultures. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2011 by Samuel Atkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
As a lecturer in Computer Games Development at degree level I would have to say this book has to be essential reading for any student planning a career in the Games Industry. Read more
Published on 14 July 2011 by Iancee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value book
I highly reccomand this book to anyone who is interesting in studying or knowing the history of video games. Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2011 by Fulvio
5.0 out of 5 stars How video games emerged
Video games are now a huge business. The average family spends more on them than on cinema tickets and recorded music combined. Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2010 by R. Parry
4.0 out of 5 stars Replay
Nice review of the birth of video games, seems to have all the bases covered USA, Japan and Europe/Britain. Excellent book
Published on 12 Nov 2010 by R. M. Middleton
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