Video Game Books Used To Be Amazing

If cheap magazines or dummy's guides to dummy's games are the only exposure you have to video games and the world of words on paper, I'm sorry you weren't gaming in the 1980s, when you would have been treated to some of these.

I shared one of them a few weeks back, but seeing a big collection like this is enough to trigger that "musty old book smell" in my head, and that's a good smell.

Just look at some of these. Playboy's guide to...rating games? A guide to computer and video games?



    I have the Island of Secrets book. Spent weeks typing it up on the Apple IIe in the school library when I was about 15. Spent the time away from the computer reading it from cover to cover repeatedly.

    Never bloody worked. I ran it, it produced errors, and I had no idea how to debug at the time.

    And yet I still have fond memories of the book. Weird. Maybe I should use my modern day 1337 hax0r skillz to try it out again!

      Just realised that it's not clear in the story - Island of Secrets has several thousand lines of BASIC code in the back of the book. Type it up and you get your own awesome text adventure game! Fun to type AND to play!

        I always thought it was a bit counter-productive to type up the code to text adventures, considering you'd have to code the solution so you know what it is :P

      Had this one for my TRS-80 too. Got errors and had to give up. So wanted to play it though.

    Jeez I think my local public library still has some of these.
    Similar story to batguy, typed for weeks on a txt adventure program on my uncles old atari only to have it hang at the main menu.

    I like when they prefix "video games" with "the"

    Haha, I still have the Usborne Guide to Computer Games at home. There was another one as well called something like Usborne Guide to Microcomputers. Both had some great BASIC programmes included that ignited a passion in me for making simple BASIC games (usually text "Choose Your Own" adventures).

    Not all of the modern gaming books are bad though... here is a couple amazing books every gamer should read:

    Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
    Author: David Kushner

    The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
    Author: Steven L. Kent

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