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Replay: The History of Video Games
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Replay: The History of Video Games

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  455 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
A riveting account of the birth and remarkable evolution of the most important development in entertainment since television, Replay: The History of Video Games is the ultimate history of video games. From its origins in the research labs of the 1940s to the groundbreaking success of the Wii, Replay sheds new light on gaming's past. Along the way it takes in the spectacula ...more
Kindle Edition, 517 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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Feb 25, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked Replay. It was much more in-depth than I'd have guessed. The history of video games is fairly short but there are countless interesting stories from the past 5 decades.

One of the strongest aspects of the book is strong coverage of non-American/Japanese games and game designers. A fair bit of time is devoted to the UK scene in the 80s or French adventure games. While these didn't have the impact or cultural recognition of Mario and GTA they were very interesting sections and I'm gl
S.M. Johnson
Jul 08, 2012 S.M. Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a solid book that works very well as a compliment to other video game history books. It goes up to 2009 and hits on the European game industry, games as art, and other things that more mainstream books on the subject tend to leave out. There is also a very comprehensive list of "must-play" games and consoles in the back of the book which is a joy to flip through.

My main gripe with this one is that the author tends to "jump around" from subject to subject, sometimes within a chapter, whic
Jan 18, 2014 Poul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a book that only focuses on trents and art it is a good book to start your game history from. Thoug it mentions several animals the elephants are not between, that's why it could only get 4 stars.
Nov 21, 2010 Themistocles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, computers
A fantastic read! Donovan does tend to lose focus and refer to other genres and games and issues in each chapter, but it's really a great book on the subject...
Krzysztof Mathews
Overall, a very good book. Quite substantial.

My only (minor) criticism is that as the book gets closer to the present day, the diversity of the subject leads to individual chapters dedicated to specific themes of games, but does not do as much to set a clear timeline of how these genres overlap chronologically. In the earlier chapters, there is a much clearer sense of how different games and their innovations served to challenge each other in the larger marketplace at any given point in time.

Apr 05, 2015 Noor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: videojuegos
Buena parte de los que frecuentamos esta web somos jugadores desde hace bastante tiempo. Por motivos de edad, es posible que haya quienes lleven inmersos en este fantástico mundo desde hace varias décadas y que recuerden, por haberlo vivido en primera persona, momentos memorables de la historia del medio. En cualquier caso, independientemente de haber nacido con un mando de consola bajo el brazo o de estar empezando a gatear en esto de los videojuegos, tal vez queramos ir un poco más allá de la ...more
Adam Hepton
Feb 17, 2014 Adam Hepton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really decent look into the origins of video gaming: how we got to where we are now, and some of the major stories along the way. The pace of development is reflected nicely within the book: the first 60% of the book is entirely around the first games in labs, the arcades, and the home computers leading up to the mid-eighties, before momentum takes hold and it becomes less about the technology behind it, but the stories and genres created.

There are some major genre successes that are skirted o
Jun 27, 2011 Mjhancock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video-game, scholarly
Donovan examines the history of video games, from the early 60s Spacewar! to the modern indie game scene. In terms of comprehensive coverage, this book is by far the best history of video games that I've read. The only book that comes close is Mark J.P. Wolf's Videogame Explosion, and Donovan's book does a better job of presenting the history as a cohesive whole. He strikes an excellent balance between informative and entertaining writing; it's clearly written for a popular audience, but the lev ...more
V. Briceland
As a history of an industry younger than some pop music stars, Replay: The History of Video Games works well. It's exhaustively researched, contains extensive interviews with the programmers and idealists who built the computer games movement from the ground up, and has not only a thorough bibliography, but a glossary and extensive list of video game systems and their specs in the back.

Donovan's approach, however, is to chronicle beginnings—the germs of movements that lead to popular trends in t
William Herschel
Video games are a relatively new medium, which is really brought into perspective when reading this. Such a slow start to gaming... and then it all explodes. Replay does a swell job of covering the starting point of video games. Soon it is clear though that it doesn't really know what thread to follow. It shuns a linear tale in favour of chapters devoted to specific subjects -- music and dance, MUDs, sims, indie, the era of Doom.

I know Nintendo well, so let's take Nintendo as an example. It talk
Oct 15, 2011 Tore rated it liked it
This book is broad enough to appeal to a reader like me: a 30+ semi-casual gamer; i.e. with more than a passing knowledge of video games, but not to an extremely nerdy extent.

It is very comprehensive, including interviews with many of the industry’s key players, and is well structured around the emergence of new trends in video games. Being interested in pop culture in general, I also enjoyed the parts where Donovan analyses how developments in pop culture (and indeed in culture/society as a who
Nayef Al-mansouri
Good book overall .. Give the reader a detailed history about the video game industry with good detailed about it which will be good for gamer to know

However ,I think the book style tends more to be research and story type which might make the reader gets board with time . Also , lots of words with less graphs .. If there is a trending plots or graphs it will add a good flavor

Overall , the book is good for a person who wants to dig more into gaming history and for every gamer should pass by thi
Brigg Sabol
Aug 29, 2012 Brigg Sabol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About once a week, I "sneak out" after my wife and son go to sleep and go to this little Chinese restaurant down the street and hide in a corner table and chill out with a book, some killer Chinese food and pretty much drink beer until I can't really pay attention to reading anymore. Somehow I decided that I always have a book about video games as my topic of choice for this excursion. This was my 4th book I brought with me, and I think as far as non-fiction goes, it's the best one.

There was a l
Joshua Degreiff
Feb 08, 2016 Joshua Degreiff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Works very well as a video game history books. I really like it the book, was entertaining to read how video games evolve into multi millionaire industry. Sometimes the author tend jump around from subject but understood why he did. All this is worth a read for any video game fan or non fan. I like the list "most play" games was cool.
Anthony Xing
Sep 11, 2014 Anthony Xing rated it really liked it
The first 2/3 of this book was brilliant and insightful. It details the early innovations and developments in the video games industry very well. But the last bits tried to fly through too much time and development too fast, making it fragmented and incoherent, unlike the first parts.
Jun 04, 2014 Goodacre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
According to Professor Brian Moriarty, the best book in existence on the history of computer and videogames. It favors no genre, industry, country, era, or platform in any way I noticed, dividing the whole history into punchy chapters describing clear innovative movements.
Delton Hulbert
Sep 16, 2014 Delton Hulbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took off a star for Donovan's tendency to warp information to suit his perspective. Otherwise, this book provides a wide basis of knowledge for anyone looking to learn about the history and evolution of video game hardware and the market at large.
Richard Stowell
Jan 07, 2016 Richard Stowell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this history does cover a wide breadth of the rise of an incredible industry in great detail, the nature of such a young subject matter means many of the items that make history interesting are glossed over with a sheen of things that really aren't all that old. Comprehensive in its mentions of important milestones, they seem not particularly deep because of their proximity to the now. Having said that, it is still a very enjoyable read to catch the young up to what has produced the shiny ...more
I bet this book gets assigned to computer gaming students everywhere. Its the best overview of the birth of the industry I have yet read. Turns out, that like a lot of people, I remembered when I encountered certain games or devices for the first time and thought that's when they were fairly new. Sometimes I was right and sometimes waayy wrong. I didn't play in arcades until the mid 80's, for example, not long before their decline. I didn't see Zork for the first time until late in 1983, so my i ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Bickernicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the info on how my favoite video games were conceived. You never thought about WHO made these games when you were a kid.
May 14, 2016 Triplerec6l6 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good amount of historical information including, what I think, is the oft-neglected European video game history.
Jordan Cox
Apr 15, 2014 Jordan Cox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Competent and comprehensive for a single volume. Well balanced look at the worldwide industry through four decades.
Mar 17, 2011 Sophia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sophia by: IGN
Shelves: non-fiction
An engaging history of the video game industry starting from its very earliest roots in the 60s/70s all the way up to 2010, when the book was published. It does suffer from some noticeable copyediting issues - there are usually one or two blatant typos per chapter, which to me is a LOT but luckily Donovan's writing doesn't seem to need much editing otherwise. Jury's still out on whether or not I like the slight jumpiness between chapters, as Donovan has to backtrack frequently to cover the same ...more
Professor Miriam
Apr 10, 2016 Professor Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: media-history
Excellent history of the global video game industry!
Dennis Kogel
May 15, 2011 Dennis Kogel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Replay is a wonderful book chronicling a period which gave rise to the videogame industry. It's a valuable history. Tristan Donovan does not list a number of influential games, thereby simplifying history and breaking it down to end-products, but chronicles the creation of videogame software and hardware as a complex web of socio-cultural, technological developments. The chapter on videogames in South Korea is plain gold. Still, despite a high number of quotes by the people Donovan meticulously ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Matevž rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very nice overview of gaming history. I really liked the backstage details about economics and leadership decision.
Jordan Webber
Sep 20, 2012 Jordan Webber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as I always felt the history I was taught in school never ventured close enough to the present day, the history of video games as told in Replay is heavily focused on the beginnings of trends. The author jumps around a lot, but despite the feeling of 'no follow-through', it's surely a more engaging narrative than the strictly chronological alternative. The book is well-written, anyway, despite some slips in grammar and spelling. And it's packed with information. I can honestly say I learned ...more
Dec 14, 2012 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, the single-most comprehensive, accessible, and engaging book I've ever read on video game history. It's very easy to get into, even for the uninitiated. Might seem overwhelming at times when referencing certain games or hardware, but a quick Google search would help anyone out. Honestly, I've a fair number of books dealing with this topic, and this one volume alone could replace the material covered in a few of them. Absolutely loved this one.
Jair Ibarra
Jan 31, 2014 Jair Ibarra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Una visión muy completa de cómo ha avanzado la industria de los videojuegos, no está contado de manera cronológica, sino que avanza mediante eventos clave a través de los años y cuenta la importancia e impacto que tuvo no solo en la industria, también en la sociedad. Indispensable si compartes el hobby.
Aug 16, 2015 figura4 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
La storia del videogioco raccontata con cura mediante una meticolosa ricerca e documentazione da parte dell'autore.
Non si tratta di una esposizione asettica, di ogni evento viene presentata anche la situazione socio-politica che ne ha influenzato le sorti.
Non mancano poi gli eventi miliari, uno su tutti l'assassinio di Lord British durante il lancio di Ultima Online.
Solo per appassionati, ma una lettura molto stimolante.
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