July 11, 2017

Video Games FAQ by Mark J.P. Wolf

Published Date : July 11, 2017
Publisher : Backbeat Books
Genre : Non-Fiction / Video Games




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As their prominence in the news cycle from Gamergate to the burgeoning smartphone market to the VR realm and beyond would indicate, video games and gaming have rocketed from a fairly fringe existence to a central position in the everyday lives of millions. Whether you're a casual reader with an interest in the subject or an experienced gamer scrounging for obscure facts and stories, Mark Wolf's Video Games FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Games and Gaming Culture is an indispensable resource touching on all aspects of this techno-cultural phenomenon. Wolf's info-dense account traces video games from their earliest renditions as blocky abstractions to the photorealistic worlds of the present day, exploring the games, systems, technologies, companies, and inventors who transformed a novelty into a worldwide industry and major imaginative force along the way. In lively prose intended for a general audience, the book examines the many ways video games have entered our lives, impacted popular culture, and evolved through innovations and technological advances. More than just a history, this book, which can be read from cover-to-cover or a stand-alone chapter at a time, is also packed with fun, thought-provoking video game trivia touching on the origins of handheld games, the first first-person shooting games, famous characters named after a landlord and an attorney, the birth of third-party development, and the best and worst selling systems of all time. Whether discussing the pedigrees of games and systems, sequels, franchises, and series, the console wars, the home computer revolution, or leading companies and their strategies, Video Games FAQ serves as a fascinating, concise, and comprehensive window into the past, present, and future of video games and everything connected with them.


Mark J. P. Wolf is a Professor in the Communication Department at Concordia University Wisconsin.  He has a B. A. (1990) in Film Production and an M. A. (1992) and Ph. D. (1995) in Critical Studies from the School of Cinema/Television (now renamed the School of Cinematic Arts) at the University of Southern California. 

His books include Abstracting Reality: Art, Communication, and Cognition in the Digital Age (2000), The Medium of the Video Game (2001), Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics, and New Media (2003), The Video Game Theory Reader (2003), The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond(2007), The Video Game Theory Reader 2 (2008), Myst and Riven: The World of the D’ni (2011), Before the Crash: An Anthology of Early Video Game History (2012), the two-volume Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming (2012), Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation (2012), The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies (forthcoming), Video Games Around the World (forthcoming from MIT Press), and two world-based novels for which he is looking for an agent and publisher.  He is also founder and co-editor of the Landmark Video Game book series from University of Michigan Press. 

He has been invited to speak in North America, Europe, Asia, and Second Life, and is on the advisory boards of Videotopia and the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, and on several editorial boards including those of Games and Culture, The Journal of E-media Studies, and Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga and The Fan Arts
He lives in Wisconsin with his wife Diane and his sons Michael, Christian, and Francis.

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