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Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic

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3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  205 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Enter the quiet living rooms and cacophonous gaming environs of gaming kingpins like Richard Garriott and John Carmack, who invented games such as Quake and DOOM. Learn about gamers who make their living by winning gaming tournaments, and secrets of devoted gamers who practically live at LAN parties and gaming conventions.
Hardcover, 1st edition, 273 pages
Published August 13th 2003 by McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 736)
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Douglas Perry
Mar 17, 2014 Douglas Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review is written from the perspective of an outsider. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, before the rise of role-play gaming (RPG), and entered the emerging computing world of the 70s and 80s as a scientist and professor, eager to use new digital tools for my research and teaching. By the time online gaming developed, matured, and propagated, I was off in a different realm of data acquisition and analysis.

Why would I read King and Borland's Dungeons & Dreamers: A Story of How Computer Games C
...more
MJ Nicholls
An informative but unstylish look at the visionaries behind games like EverQuest, Doom and Ultima Online, with particular focus on Richard Garriot, a designer who dubs himself Lord British and likes to buy castles. His story is the most entertaining and shows a truly eccentric character at work, a D&D geek and Lord of the Rings fan determined to bring co-operative fantastia to the mainstream. And he did.

The book loses focus, drifting into other stories and personalities sometimes at random,
...more
Stile Teckel
Mar 08, 2014 Stile Teckel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is absolutely fantastic!

While one of the main characters is Richard Garriott it certainly is not limited to him. Dr. Cat, Starr Long, Steve Jackson, and many many more are referenced. People whose paths did not cross with Richard and even some famous game players. Yet there is a core feel that uses Richard to tell a story and by doing so it makes the book fun and interesting. I have a hard time passing up a good Fantasy or Sci-Fi novel in favor of non-fiction as I really like to get lo
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Rob Tesselaar
Apr 13, 2014 Rob Tesselaar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grew up in the period covered in this book, playing many of the games referred to. But as one often does, while I was familiar with the names, I didn't really know the backstory. The authors do a great job of covering the evolution of computer games with a specific focus on the roleplaying games that grew out of Dungeons and Dragons into the such well known names as Everquest and World of Warcraft.

The book is written in a clear and logical manner making the information accessible to those new
...more
Samuel Ch.
Apr 03, 2015 Samuel Ch. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblioteca, phd
Una narrativa muy amena que busca hacer un trazado de la evolución de los juegos de RPG.

Me parece que el mejor acierto de este libro es hacer de tomar que de entrada es medio aburrido y narrarlo de una manera interesante. En este libro se gesta una especie de lucha entre el antecedente histórico del RPG y una novela con sus héroes y villanos.


Me hubiera gustado que el estudio que aquí se hace fuera menos íntimo, en realidad. Todo el contexto está sumado a uno o dos jóvenes que lograron sorprender
...more
Alan
Sep 13, 2011 Alan rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Although this was an old book that I purchased at a deep discount and didn't cover anything after 2003, I thought it was a good introductory book to the history of PC gaming, how it evolved from its early roots in paper Dungeons & Dragons to text-based PC games, to the gaming consoles of PlayStation 2 and XBox. I could easily extrapolate the theme and emphasis of this book to the photorealistic video games of today. The premise was that social gaming is what drove the state of the art forwar ...more
Claire
Jun 14, 2014 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received Dungeons & Dreamers as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

I am not a gamer. However, I'm fascinated by niche interest communities, and that's why this title grabbed my attention. It highlights the rise of multiplayer computer games, from the advent of the idea in the 1970s to its realization in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

King does a good job of keeping the reader straight on the book's many personalities and games. Even as a non-gamer, I could keep track of who was who and what was wha
...more
Jonathan
Generally good content. I just wish it went deeper into detail.
Andy Connell
Over all pretty good, looses focus at times. Could have spent more time on DnD itself and less on FPS like DOOM even though I understand their significance in terms of network gaming. More time on Ultima Online would have helped as it seemed the realization of Garrets idea of a virtual DnD game with lasting consiquences.
Rodney Haydon
Jun 21, 2015 Rodney Haydon rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book on the history of early computer gaming. I now see there is a 2nd edition of this book that came out last year, so I am interested in the updates the authors have regarding the 11 year span between the two.
Grant Laird
Jan 14, 2014 Grant Laird rated it it was amazing
I found out that the 2nd edition of Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic will be released at the end of 2013. http://www.dungeonsanddreamers.com/

David
Sep 23, 2014 David rated it really liked it
My four stars is only because I've a gamer and the history interests me; don't expect great writing, just great information.
Mjhancock
Feb 08, 2011 Mjhancock rated it liked it
Shelves: video-game, scholarly
Brad King and John Borland write a historical overview of gaming fandom and the player in general. The first four chapters focus mainly on the individual the authors choose to symbolize early gamers: Richard Garriott and the Ultima series. The second section is a little more varied, with a chapter on John Carmack and John Romero of Doom & Quake, another on the communities the games created and the rise of the gamer; and a return to Garriott with a focus on Ultima Online.

The third section loo
...more
James
Sep 25, 2008 James rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers interested in the intersection of computer games and mainstream culture
A very readable and often entertaining history of, as the title says, computer game culture up through about 2002 (it was published in 2003.) I liked the mini-biographies of some of the key people that created influential games or organized competitions.
I'd have given this book five stars, but the index is sparse, omitting a number of names and other entries that should have been included (and having written indexes, I know it's tedious but not hard to be comprehensive.) Also, some people, games
...more
Mark
Jul 28, 2008 Mark rated it it was ok
i think if i hadn't been gaming for the last 20 years i would have enjoyed this book a lot more. as it is i didn't find myself learning much new - i remember many of the events and games covered in this book so i didn't feel like i was getting much out of it.

ALSO i wish the book were written last year instead of 5 years ago. they go on at length about the promise of a) MMORPGs and how that space is rich with possibilities (i wonder how those chapters would have read after WoW came out) b) the p
...more
John
May 22, 2012 John rated it liked it
As a fan of video game History/Biography it was an interesting dichotomy between two of the industries juggernauts: Richard Garriot and the two John's from id. However Masters of Doom is much more in depth when concerned about John and John. I felt that shoe-horning in the 1993 hearings on violence which led up to the ESRB was exactly that shoe-horned. I felt that it would be a stronger book if it concentrated on Garriot's history or possibly the many other people influenced by Dungeons and Drag ...more
Janelle
Jun 15, 2010 Janelle rated it it was ok
Excellent as a history of gaming, particularly as a limited biography of certain key game developers.

This was not particularly my interest when I picked this book up, however.

I was hoping for more exploration of the cultural, sociological, and narratological aspects of computer gaming.

For my interests, two chapters of this book blew me away with their commentary and insight, but the rest of the book, while well-written was not particularly engaging.
Mark Freeman
Aug 09, 2010 Mark Freeman rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book had its flaws - repetitive in places and a focus on some personal stories that at times were really not that fascinating!
But overall it was fun to have a perspective put on a story that I feel part of. This was a recognizable history.
Book conclusions: that people play games for social interaction. Not sure I fully agree but its an interesting counter-point to the games make you violent camp.
Michael
Aug 07, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
Half bio of Richard Garriott, half about everyone else in the early MUD world (EverQuest, Lineage, and the games leading up to them.) Not bad, but showing its age.
Sandi
Aug 10, 2011 Sandi rated it liked it
Told in a very journalistic, almost predestined, style. A very entertaining read but with definate biases towards Western gaming, and networked play.
Dan
Nov 15, 2008 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Decent book on the rise and influence of video games on our culture, but waaaay too much of the book is devoted to Richard Garriott.
Corey
Mar 16, 2016 Corey rated it it was ok
Meh
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He travels. He writes. He runs. He teaches. He was a geek before it was cool. SXSW Interactive Advisory Board. Dungeons & Dreamers author. #Wired #MIT #Berkeley #CarnegieMellon
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