6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A good, if rather academic study into the art of gaming.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Trigger Happy: The Inner Life of Videogames (Paperback)
This 'revised' edition of Steven Poole's work makes an interesting read for anyone fascinated in the relatively short history of gaming. The decrease in price, plus the inclusion of coverage of Sony's PlayStation 2 launch certainly make it more attractive than the previous edition. The book is fairly comprehensive, covering gaming hardware through the ages, how gaming dynamics have changed (for better and worse) and who were the major players in this evolution. This approach makes it fairly generic, but Poole handles the themes well, using discussions with major luminaries such as Jeremy Smith of Tomb Raider fame and reflecting on how he believes games can be made better. Because of this it may not capture an unforgettable period in as much detail as David Sheff's Game Over (which handled Nintendo's business up to the birth of the SNES console), but Poole's enthusiasm is contagious, and his knowledge and experience unquestionable. Where he lets himself down is in his persistence in exemplifying certain basic examples of the genres; Tomb Raider and Resident Evil are constantly referenced, it seems, simply because they are good games with one or more major and easy-to-spot flaws. However, apart from the aforementioned Game Over and The First Quarter by Steven L. Kent (available from Amazon.com on import, and perhaps the most appealing book ever to cover the topic), this work is something that should still be in any discerning gamer's collection.