Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution Heather Chaplin, Aaron Ruby - 2005

History of videogames (overall history)

Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution

Author(s) : Heather Chaplin, Aaron Ruby
Editor : Algonquin Books
Publication date : 11-01-2005
Language : english English

This book gives a portrayal of several famous video game creators: Cliff Bleszinski (Unreal Tournament, Gears of War), Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, Zelda...), Will Wright (Sim City, The Sims...), John Romero and John Carmack, alongside with three bonus chapters dedicated to the first video games, to military Serious Games (America's Army) and to MMORPG players (Anarchy Online, Star Wars Galaxies). Overall, the book is very pleasant to read and filled with interesting information. The portraits of creators that the authors actually met are very detailed. They mix description of the day life of creators during professional events (and their night parties), with some historical information regarding their careers. Here lies the main flaw of the book: it contains several important errors about video games history. For example, the author credits Super Mario Bros for the success of Famicom in Japan in 1983, while the game was only released in 1985 (they mistook Mario Bros. for Super Mario Bros., two games with very different gameplay). They also forget about "Galaxy Game" and barely mention the Magnavox Odyssey in the chapter about early video games. Nevertheless, these errors doesn't reduce the great quality of the portraits of video games creators. The chapters about the military Serious Game is excellent, so are the portraits of Will Wright and Cliff Bleszinski. These chapters alone are a good reason to read this book.


Keywords : history, cliff bleszinski, will wright, america's army, star wars galaxies, anarchy online