Book Review: The Comic Book Story of VIDEO GAMES By Hennessey and McGowan

This was a fun and interesting read, even if I did skip over some parts that seemed to get too technical. There were a lot of tangents that either didn’t seem fully explored (like mentioning Ada Lovelace — perhaps the only woman mentioned in the book, but who only got to panels) or didn’t seem relevant. My favorite part was the acknowledgment that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings influenced the game world.

What this book lacked, however, was women. It does talk about how arcade games tried to bring in female players with Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, but it doesn’t really explore how sexist the gaming world/industry was and is. At least not to my satisfaction. I’m also left wondering still: What is the definition of a video game? They say they explain it on page 2 and refer back to it repeatedly — but  I don’t think they do. They say video games don’t necessarily require a computer and I am starting to think that I have a different definition of “computer.”

I really like the approachable and fun format of this book. I would buy this as a gift for a gamer friend. I’m enjoying the trend of turning nonfiction subjects into comic books. This will be the third such book like that I’ve reviewed. (See first one here. Second here).

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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