This is a very good book for all game fans, old and new. As it says, from Pong to Oblivion and stopping off at all your favourite destinations on the way.
Well written and produced, you get 2-4 pages on each game and all platforms are covered from arcade to Atari, PS1 to the DS, though note it is over 2 years old now so no very recent games including Wii/PS3 offerings. Asteroids, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Zelda ...even Animal Crossings are all covered with great illustrations and game details/history. There may be some lesser known titles like Rez you've not heard of but may want to look out for after reading this.
It is not an all-encompassing and detailed history of gaming, but simply the story of 50 important and classic games that have shaped the different genres. Another good book that may be of interest is Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008
I'm 40 er...something and I love this book, as does my 12 year old daughter. Say no more....
As a long time video game fan my initial instinctive reaction to reading this book is to angrily throw it down shouting "I could have written this! And anyway, where is obscure Japanese shoot 'em up XI that everyone knows is the best game ever made?". I should point out, I didn't do this because I know that this book isn't for the veteran gamer who has played everything in it. This book is for those people who want to know about gaming from a broad perspective. That doesn't mean it's just for people who have never played a video game, but it's for people who haven't played across a broad range but would like to know more.
It is a common problem among gamers that they think because they play Pro Evo and Quake 8 hours a day they are therefore an expert on video games. WRONG! Game On shows the diversity of the medium and has insightful and easy to understand analysis of why the game in question is good, where it's weak, what it's done for video gaming as a whole, legacy, influences, all the relevant information if you want to know what titles are truly significant.
In short, this book is a perfect "Bluffer's guide to video games".
Whether you just want to get up to speed on gaming (perhaps you're doing a media course and are not a gamer, or maybe a parent of a video game developer) or whether you are already an avid gamer but are aware that you're missing out on the bigger gaming picture then a read of this book will clue you right up. Game On is complemented well by the authors' other, slightly more technical, book The Complete Guide to Game Development, Art & Design. If you read Game On and want to know more about gaming, particularly the production side, then that book is a good place to start.
I'm quite tempted to buy a copy of Game On specially for the bathroom so that the gaming-ignorant who go in there at least come out a little less so.
Game on is printed on very high quality gross paper and has the most clear pictures of video games I have ever seen. I must say that games really can look like art at times. It covers what they think are the best 50 games of all time. I must say I agree in the main and it must have been a very difficult task to choose. Each game has a nice large review with those amazing screen shots. If you love games then you should like this book too.