13 books like Arcade Perfect

By Milan Jaram, David L. Craddock,

Here are 13 books that Arcade Perfect fans have personally recommended if you like Arcade Perfect. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

Doug Walsh Author Of The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides

From my list on the video game industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Doug Walsh is the author of over one hundred officially licensed video game strategy guides for BradyGames and Prima Games. From Diablo to Zelda, his work covered nearly every major gaming franchise for two decades.

Doug's book list on the video game industry

Doug Walsh Why did Doug love this book?

Longtime games journalist, Jason Schreier, takes readers within the bowels of gaming’s most celebrated studios to reveal the fascinating, yet often cringe-inducing conditions in which modern games are made. Well-researched and fascinating to read, with individual chapters devoted to many of gaming’s most recent bestsellers.

By Jason Schreier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood, Sweat, and Pixels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You've got your dream job--making video games. You have a great project, great designs, and clever controls. One morning, you get a call from your producer. Turns out that wall-jumping trick won't work because the artists don't have time to design a separate animation just for the plumber to move that way. Also, your lead designer keeps micromanaging the programmers, which is driving them crazy. Your E3 demo is due in two weeks, and you know there's no way you can get it done in less than four. You'll have to cut out some of the game's biggest features just…


Book cover of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

Doug Walsh Author Of The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides

From my list on the video game industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Doug Walsh is the author of over one hundred officially licensed video game strategy guides for BradyGames and Prima Games. From Diablo to Zelda, his work covered nearly every major gaming franchise for two decades.

Doug's book list on the video game industry

Doug Walsh Why did Doug love this book?

This smart and at-times hilarious book takes serious, analytical, video game criticism and runs it through the meatgrinder of the gaming- and drug-addicted mind of an adult player. It is a memoir, a love story, and a guide to understanding why, as the title suggests, video games absolutely matter.

By Tom Bissell, Tom Bissell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Extra Lives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Extra Lives, acclaimed writer and life-long video game enthusiast Tom Bissell takes the reader on an insightful and entertaining tour of the art and meaning of video games.
 
In just a few decades, video games have grown increasingly complex and sophisticated, and the companies that produce them are now among the most profitable in the entertainment industry. Yet few outside this world have thought deeply about how these games work, why they are so appealing, and what they are capable of artistically. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is a milestone work about what might be the…


Book cover of Kansai Cool: A Journey Into the Cultural Heartland of Japan

Doug Walsh Author Of The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides

From my list on the video game industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Doug Walsh is the author of over one hundred officially licensed video game strategy guides for BradyGames and Prima Games. From Diablo to Zelda, his work covered nearly every major gaming franchise for two decades.

Doug's book list on the video game industry

Doug Walsh Why did Doug love this book?

It is impossible to talk about gaming without mentioning the influence Japanese culture has had on the pastime. Specifically, Nintendo. This collection of essays and photos offers an anthropologist’s view to the Kansai region of Western Japan, and helps gamers (and travelers) understand the complex culture in which Nintendo is based.

By Christal Whelan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kansai Cool as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Kansai Cool anthropologist, writer and filmmaker Christal Whelan offers profound insights in the only collection of essays to focus on Kansai, Japan's ancient heartland. Kansai ; the region in Western Japan that boasts the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara, the bustling commercial city of Osaka and the cosmopolitan port city of Kobe ; has a character all its own, right down to its dialect, mannerisms, and cuisine. It is home to some of Japan's oldest history and an area where the country's most time-honored arts and crafts still thrive. Worldly and otherworldly, spirited and spiritual, trendy and traditional,…


Book cover of The Official Nintendo Player's Guide NES 1987

Doug Walsh Author Of The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides

From my list on the video game industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Doug Walsh is the author of over one hundred officially licensed video game strategy guides for BradyGames and Prima Games. From Diablo to Zelda, his work covered nearly every major gaming franchise for two decades.

Doug's book list on the video game industry

Doug Walsh Why did Doug love this book?

Arguably, the very first strategy guide for the North American market. This compendium covered 90 titles for the N.E.S., including maps and mini-guides for 30 of the most popular games. As a twelve-year-old boy, this book was one of my prized possessions … and continues to be a source of fond memories and inspiration.

By Nintendo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Official Nintendo Player's Guide NES 1987 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times top 10 bestseller

With a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales.

'A stunningly moving book about the power of hope and love to overcome the very worst of mankind' - Piers Morgan

When Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert was liberated in 1945, a Jewish-American soldier gave her a banknote on which he'd written 'Good luck and happiness'. And when her great-grandson, Dov, decided to use social media to track down the family of the GI, 96-year-old Lily found herself making headlines round the world. Lily had promised herself that if she survived Auschwitz she would tell everyone…


Book cover of Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers

Gianni Simone Author Of Otaku Japan: The Fascinating World of Japanese Manga, Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, Toys, Idols and More!

From my list on otaku Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in Japan for the last 30 years but my love for manga, anime, and games is much older and dates back to when UFO Robot Grendizer was first shown on Italian TV a fateful summer evening in 1978. Many years later, I was able to turn my passion for all things Japanese into a job and now I regularly write about politics, society, sports, travel, and culture in all its forms. However, I often go back to my first love and combine walking, urban exploration, and my otaku cravings into looking for new stores and visiting manga and anime locations in and around Tokyo.

Gianni's book list on otaku Japan

Gianni Simone Why did Gianni love this book?

Together with TV anime, the first video games (e.g. Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong) arrived in Italy between 1978 and 1981 and completely changed the way my friends and I spent our free time and pocket money. Ten years later I moved to Japan and, again, spent insanely long hours in dark game arcades playing Virtua Fighter. If, like me, you are a game addict, this book will tell you everything you need to know about game history and the intricacies and main personalities of each genre, from shooting and fighting games to retro and card-based games. It’s a huge saccharine high. Now excuse me but I gotta have my fix. 

By Brian Ashcraft, Jean Snow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Arcade Mania as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Home of Sega, Nintendo, and Sony, Japan has a unique and powerful presence in the world of video games. Another thing that makes Japan unique in the gaming world is the prevalence of game arcades. While the game arcade scene has died in the U.S., there are 9,500 "game centers" in Japan with more than 445,000 game machines.
Arcade Mania introduces overseas readers to the fascinating world of the Japanese gemu senta. Organized as a guided tour of a typical game center, the book is divided into nine chapters, each of which deals with a different kind of game, starting…


Book cover of Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America

John Wills Author Of Gamer Nation: Video Games and American Culture

From my list on video games and popular culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a university academic who writes and teaches on American popular culture. I’ve played video games all my life—I remember first playing Breakout and Boot Hill at the local arcade back in the late 1970s as a young child, and yes, I had an Atari VCS. Today, I write, teach, and exhibit work on the history of video games, especially how games depict and connect with the USA. I still play video games, probably too much, and my favorite console is the Sega Dreamcast.

John's book list on video games and popular culture

John Wills Why did John love this book?

Atari Age is a wonderful title with possibly the best book cover ever (for any retro games aficionado anyhow!). Newman researches with skill the advent of video games in the United States, looking at how people became gamers, and exploring life in the arcades, and playing Atari VCSs for the first time at home. It’s a seriously good history book.  

By Michael Z. Newman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Atari Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The cultural contradictions of early video games: a medium for family fun (but mainly for middle-class boys), an improvement over pinball and television (but possibly harmful).

Beginning with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong in 1972, video games, whether played in arcades and taverns or in family rec rooms, became part of popular culture, like television. In fact, video games were sometimes seen as an improvement on television because they spurred participation rather than passivity. These “space-age pinball machines” gave coin-operated games a high-tech and more respectable profile. In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video…


Book cover of The Ultimate History of Video Games, Vol. 1

Harold Goldberg Author Of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

From my list on video game narrative histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg has written about video games since the 1990s. He is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture) and The League of Legends Experience. He is the founder of the non-profit New York Videogame Critics Circle and The New York Game Awards, both of which raise funds for essential classes and scholarships in New York City's underserved communities. As editor in chief of Sony Online Entertainment, he worked on Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Wired, and elsewhere. Goldberg also co-wrote My Life Among The Serial Killers with Dr. Helen Morrison. 

Harold's book list on video game narrative histories

Harold Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

Steve's sprawlingly wonderful book is not only an essential (and the first) oral history of video games' early years. The author takes you inside the minds of the (mainly) white men who pioneered a form of entertainment media that's now bigger than all forms of popular art combined. Just as it makes you think of the brilliance of these slick hucksters and brainy engineers who created a new form of culture, it makes you think that games would have benefitted greatly from more diversity back then - and now.

By Steven L. Kent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ultimate History of Video Games, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive behind-the-scenes history of the dawn of video games and their rise into a multibillion-dollar business
 
“For industry insiders and game players alike, this book is a must-have.”—Mark Turmell, designer for Midway Games and creator of NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and WrestleMania
 
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade, volume 1 of The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. Starting in arcades then moving to televisions and…


Book cover of Santa Lilio Sangre Ayami Kojima Artworks Art Book

Mina Petrović Author Of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

From my list on inspiring manga art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  

Mina's book list on inspiring manga art

Mina Petrović Why did Mina love this book?

Ayami Kojima has held my heart for as long as I was an artist. Her visual style is something anyone can recognize, and the aftershock of knowing that this artist defined an entire video game industry aesthetic made me love her work even more. I managed to find only pieces of this book online until I was able to finally afford this super rare book filled with her hyper-detailed oil paintings.

Book cover of Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

John Wills Author Of Gamer Nation: Video Games and American Culture

From my list on video games and popular culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a university academic who writes and teaches on American popular culture. I’ve played video games all my life—I remember first playing Breakout and Boot Hill at the local arcade back in the late 1970s as a young child, and yes, I had an Atari VCS. Today, I write, teach, and exhibit work on the history of video games, especially how games depict and connect with the USA. I still play video games, probably too much, and my favorite console is the Sega Dreamcast.

John's book list on video games and popular culture

John Wills Why did John love this book?

Originally written in 1938 in Dutch (Huizinga was a Dutch cultural theorist), Homo Ludens contemplates the meaning and function of play in society. It’s a seminal text, widely cited by anyone who researches games (including video games), and really gets you thinking about what we mean by ‘play’. It also predates the commercial video game industry by some 30-40 years but still speaks to the mechanics and appeal of gaming.

By Johan Huizinga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Homo Ludens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Book cover of Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry

Caleb J. Ross Author Of Suddenly I was a Shark! My Time with What Remains of Edith Finch

From my list on to defend your video game obsession to non-gamers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong video game obsessive. I think about video game worlds and my relationship with them in the ways most people think about family vacations to the beach or a trip with friends to Las Vegas. Every game I play is an opportunity to experience a new world, and a new culture, and to change myself along the way. Video games are a younger industry than either the music industry or the movie industry, but it’s more than 2.5x bigger than those two industries combined! There are reasons humans are so enamored by video games. The books on my list explore those reasons.

Caleb's book list on to defend your video game obsession to non-gamers

Caleb J. Ross Why did Caleb love this book?

Sometimes, defending your video game obsession means acknowledging that the video game industry is flawed. It’s best not to avoid necessary conversations about the negative impacts that video games can have on families and on personal health.

But while it would be tempting to cite flawed studies about games as a precursor to violence (a sub-recommendation for more about such flawed studies would be The Gaming Mind: A New Psychology of Videogames and the Power of Play by Alexander Kriss), Jason Schreier’s book instead digs into the “industry” part of the video games industry to explore systemic problems like overwork, the lack of unionization, and incredible wealth inequality.

The video game industry is huge (like, really huge. Like, 2.5x the size of the movie and music industry combined huge). Its enormity, combined with its lack of regulation and oversight, makes for a difficult foundation on which to build a life.…

By Jason Schreier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Press Reset as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. From the bestselling author of Blood, Sweat, and Pixels comes the next definitive, behind-the-scenes account of the video game industry: how some of the past decade's most renowned studios fell apart-and the stories, both triumphant and tragic, of what happened next.

Jason Schreier's groundbreaking reporting has earned him a place among the preeminent investigative journalists covering the world of video games. In his eagerly anticipated, deeply researched new book, Schreier trains his investigative eye on the volatility of the video game industry and the resilience of the people who work in it.

The business…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the video game industry, video games, and Japan?

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