Story: This fascinating, but painfully short, book provides a look into the history of video games in both the home and the arcade, and the various evolutionary steps that led from their creation to the present-day media marketing blitz that surrounds a form of entertainment most of us consider commonplace.
Review: Actually, that description barely does justice to “Joystick Nation”, which covers a lot of ground, and is certainly intended for that portion of the gaming population which was around for the early days of arcade video games, not for those who were young when the first NES hit American shores. The book spends a great deal of time discussing sociological issues, ranging from players’ basic mental, emotional and instictual reactions to video games, to the degree to which the iconography of video games (and game-related marketing) have entrenched themselves in our culture. There are also diversions into the moral ramifications of video game violence, the growing connection between animÃ¨, manga, comics and games, the military’s use of high-powered video game engines as training tools, and more. […]