'Game Changers: The Video Game Revolution' Review

game changers mobile
Phaidon Press

The world of interactive media has been traced back to the 1950s and 1960s when massive mainframe computers output the video presentation of electronic games. And ever since then, games have visually evolved from simple dots on a screen to more discernable pixelated images to incredibly lifelike 3D models. Throughout the storied history of gaming, a smorgasbord of publishers, development studios, iconic characters, genres, and legendary titles have blossomed to produce one of the most financially successful forms of entertainment. While the preservation of decades-old games has become a depressingly tall task, I've been pleased with the collective of books that properly chronicle the literal "game changers" that have impacted gaming and the world at large. With all that being said, I'd like to salute Phaidon Press for publishing a highly informational tome that provides insight into 300 highly varied games. Here is my review of Game Changers: The Video Game Revolution.

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Phaidon Press

The most noticeable part of this book's visual design is just how big it truly is. Gamers far and wide will definitely take pride in making it the centerpiece of their coffee table book collection. The first few pages of this opus feature a rousing intro by Simon Parkin (contributing writer for The New Yorker) that offers a nice deep dive into the constant evolution of the gaming space, plus a fascinating essay by India Block (deputy editor of Disegno Publications) that describes the way games build communities. These two editorial contributions properly instill basic knowledge of video games for causal folks while reminding veterans of the gaming space about everything they've come to love & respect. After reading through those two articles, the fun really begins as this book takes you on an alphabetical trek through the past and present juggernauts of gaming.

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Phaidon Press

I have to salute Ariane Spanier and Stephie Becker - the first is responsible for this book's overall book design and the second is credited for its quality layout. Each page features an easy-to-comprehend legend in the form of icons that break down the most important elements that define every included game (those legends come are applied to which platform said game appears on, the genre it belongs to, how many players can...well, play it, and what sort of graphical technology it's powered by). Games aren't the representatives of the gaming culture that's given its proper due here, though - major gaming companies and monumental consoles are also given their time to shine, which is awesome to see. It's cool to be able to read about the biggest games of all time and not have to divert to a Wikipedia entry about the company behind those games since most of them are given quick descriptions in the palm of your hand.

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Phaidon Press

Game Changers: The Video Game Revolution does an exemplary job of detailing the most groundbreaking, highly revered, and severely underrated games that point to just how diversified gaming truly is. The juggernauts of video games are here, of course - you'll get to refresh your warm memories of your childhood as you read about Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II, Call of Duty, Goldeneye 007, and so much more. And since this book has been published in 2023, it's incredible to see modern-day gaming blockbusters such as Minecraft, Fortnite, Among Us, and Apex Legends earn their place here among the greats that came before them. The main aspect of this book I cherish the most is how it brings well-deserved attention to some of the more slept-on games that have ever been released. I never thought in a million years that I'd see a gaming history book highlight the likes of DoDonPachi, Vib-Ribbon, and Noby Noby Boy. Thankfully, the same level of knowledge applied to the summaries of the bigger games is evident in the write-ups for the lesser-known titles in this book.

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