67 books like Game Over

By David Sheff,

Here are 67 books that Game Over fans have personally recommended if you like Game Over. 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 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.

Who am I?

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 Fun, Taste, & Games: An Aesthetics of the Idle, Unproductive, and Otherwise Playful

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.

Who am I?

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?

This under-appreciated book by two professors revolves around theories of play, why we play games, how we play them, and what it all means to the world. As they look at everything from Meow Wolf's exhibitions to Monopoly to Myst to Portal, they see that as beauty was to art, fun is to play and games. The work begins as they quote Gombrich, who says "The idea of fun is even more unpopular among us than the notion of beauty." Each of these chapters, as they roll together as one, magically juggle the varied theories of games as art and games as purely play.

By John Sharp, David Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fun, Taste, & Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reclaiming fun as a meaningful concept for understanding games and play.

“Fun” is somewhat ambiguous. If something is fun, is it pleasant? Entertaining? Silly? A way to trick students into learning? Fun also has baggage—it seems inconsequential, embarrassing, child's play. In Fun, Taste, & Games, John Sharp and David Thomas reclaim fun as a productive and meaningful tool for understanding and appreciating play and games. They position fun at the heart of the aesthetics of games. As beauty was to art, they argue, fun is to play and games—the aesthetic goal that we measure our experiences and interpretations against.

Sharp…


Book cover of The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter

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.

Who am I?

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?

Of the small subgenre books that deal with the way games aid education, Toppo's shows how games can make a difference in the way students learn by looking at first at a Washington, D.C. school's success with improving math scores through game playing. From there, he visits professors and visionaries, all of whom have helped kids learn through games. One thing becomes clear: if there were a games class in every school, especially in underserved communities, student grades would go up.

By Greg Toppo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Game Believes in You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen - with the aid of video games. From Greg Toppo, USA Today's national K-12 education and demographics reporter, The Game Believes in You presents the story of a small group of visionaries who, for the past 40 years, have been pushing to get game controllers into the hands of learners. Among the game revolutionaries you'll meet in this book:

*A game designer at the University of Southern California leading a…


Book cover of Playstation Anthology

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.

Who am I?

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?

No one's written the perfect history of the PlayStation. But this illustration-rife, Kickstarted book for fans details the secrets of Sony's history with consoles, including rare photos of collectibles and decent interviews of 26 of the key developers, like PaRappa The Rapper co-creator Rodney Alan Greenblatt and Crash Bandicoot co-creator Jason Rubin. Yes, they could have included interviews with key U.S execs like Andrew House and Mark Cerny. Still, it works. Dimension-wise, the book's not large enough to be a coffee table book. But that's what it feels like, and an indispensable one at that.

By Mathieu Manent,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To celebrate a console that brought wonder into the lives of so many, and a brand that reshaped the whole entertainment industry, the authors retrace Sony's incredible journey, from the company's creation following World War II, to the machine's retirement in the early 2000's. Throughout the 26 interviews, important figures of the period recount their experiences with unabashed honesty, painting a detailed picture of the great venture led by Ken Kutaragi. Much like the Nintendo 64 Anthology, the PlayStation Anthology is unique in both form and content. To fully appreciate the scale of the PlayStation phenomenon, you first have to…


Book cover of How to Do Things with Videogames

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.

Who am I?

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?

Despite the implications of the title, this book is not a how-to book about repurposing Nintendo game cartridges as drink coasters. It’s even better than that (and this is coming from someone who actually does use old, non-functioning game cartridges as drink coasters). 

How to Do Things with Videogames is a plea to non-gaming industries to embrace video games as tools to advance their own products and services. While video game mechanics and visuals have certainly matured since their introduction in the 1970s—and that is all quite interesting—Ian Bogost’s book isn’t interested in how humans have advanced video games but instead in how video games could advance humans.

I’ll give a specific example that has stuck with me since my first read of this book. Humans are great with spatial awareness. Video games have an amazing ability to leverage this capability for fun. But why not leverage this capability to…

By Ian Bogost,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Do Things with Videogames as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sales figures for games are reported alongside those of books, music, and movies. They are increasingly used for purposes other than entertainment, yet debates about videogames still fork along one of two paths: accusations of debasement through violence and isolation or defensive paeans to their potential as serious cultural works. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost contends that such…


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.

Who am I?

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 Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames

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

From my list on video games and popular culture.

Who am I?

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?

Persuasive Games is about how games persuade you, of ideas, what to buy, how to vote, how to live and more. It is a brilliantly inventive title from an established Game Studies scholar with a knack for original thought. Bogost brings in all kinds of little-known games to highlight his themes, and for me, it is just one of those books that you come back to for ideas and inspiration.

By Ian Bogost,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An exploration of the way videogames mount arguments and make expressive statements about the world that analyzes their unique persuasive power in terms of their computational properties.

Videogames are an expressive medium, and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. In this innovative analysis, Ian Bogost examines the way videogames mount arguments and influence players. Drawing on the 2,500-year history of rhetoric, the study of persuasive expression, Bogost analyzes rhetoric's unique function in software in general and videogames in particular. The field…


Book cover of Rockstar Games and American History: Promotional Materials and the Construction of Authenticity

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

From my list on video games and popular culture.

Who am I?

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?

This book is just out and reflects the latest scholarship in historical game studies by a new leading academic. Wright’s book tackles one of the biggest players in the video game industry, Rockstar Games, and seeks to understand how Rockstar plays with American history, culture, and our notions of authenticity. Essential reading. 

By Esther Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rockstar Games and American History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For two decades, Rockstar Games have been making games that interrogate and represent the idea of America, past and present. Commercially successful, fan-beloved, and a frequent source of media attention, Rockstar's franchises are positioned as not only game-changing, ground-breaking interventions in the games industry, but also as critical, cultural histories on America and its excesses.



But what does Rockstar's version of American history look like, and how is it communicated through critically acclaimed titles like Red Dead Redemption (2010) and L.A. Noire (2011)? By combining analysis of Rockstar's games and a range of official communications and promotional materials, this book…


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.

Who am I?

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 Treasure Hunt

Maxine Rose Schur Author Of Finley Finds His Fortune

From my list on children’s stories with the magic of three.

Who am I?

I teach writing for children and I’ve analyzed the elements that make a winning story. One of these elements is the magic of three. My idea for Finley Finds his Fortune, was sparked by a desire to write a folk tale with the magic of three and also by my visit to Whitechurch, the last working watermill in England. I was awed by the power and beauty of its water wheel so I wove a water mill into my story. To do this, I had to first study how a mill works. That’s what I love about writing children’s booksthat I can explore my own personal interests and passions.

Maxine's book list on children’s stories with the magic of three

Maxine Rose Schur Why did Maxine love this book?

Often, the magic of three is not so obvious. In the newly-published picture book, Treasure Hunt by Stephanie Wildman, three children play a new game. Older brother Luis turns his two younger siblings away from video games by creating a scavenger hunt in which they must use riddles as clues to gather ordinary household objects. And yes, they get three clues and so three chances to gather all the objects, which then become the materials to create a puppet show using a discarded cardboard box the new stove came in as the stage. The use of three here, as in all stories, produces a feeling of a satisfying completion. This is a mystery story for children 3-8 with a surprise ending and guidance for kids on how to make simple puppets.

By Stephanie Wildman, Estefanía Razo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this light-hearted story, twins Flor and Roberto scamper through their house, hunting for treasure hidden by big brother, Luis. Can these everyday objects really be treasures that offer more fun than video games or TV? Join Flor and Roberto on their search and discover why Luis saved a gigantic cardboard box. Bonus content provides direction for creating your own at-home fun!


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