1st Edition

History of Digital Games Developments in Art, Design and Interaction

By Andrew Williams Copyright 2017

    The growth of videogame design programs in higher education and explosion of amateur game development has created a need for a deeper understanding of game history that addresses not only "when," but "how" and "why." Andrew Williams takes the first step in creating a comprehensive survey on the history of digital games as commercial products and artistic forms in a textbook appropriate for university instruction. History of Digital Games adopts a unique approach and scope that traces the interrelated concepts of game design, art and design of input devices from the beginnings of coin-operated amusement in the late 1800s to the independent games of unconventional creators in the present. Rooted in the concept of videogames as designed objects, Williams investigates the sources that inspired specific game developers as well as establishing the historical, cultural, economic and technological contexts that helped shape larger design trends.

    Key Features

  • Full-color images and game screenshots
  • Focuses primarily on three interrelated digital game elements: visual design, gameplay design and the design of input devices
  • This book is able to discuss design trends common to arcade games, home console games and computer games while also respecting the distinctions of each game context
  • Includes discussion of game hardware as it relates to how it affects game design
  • Links to online resources featuring games discussed in the text, video tutorial and other interactive resources will be included.
  • Chapter 1 — Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Arcade Games

    Chapter 2 — Games as Experiments

    Chapter 3 — Early Commercialized Digital Games

    Chapter 4 — The Golden Age Arcade

    Chapter 5 — Second-Generation Consoles

    Chapter 6 — Home Computers

    Chapter 7 — Japan, 2D Game Design and the Rebirth of Consoles

    Chapter 8 — Early 3D and the Multimedia Boom

    Chapter 9 — Contemporary Game Design

    Chapter 10 — Independent Games


    Andrew Williams, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design History at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses on digital games, fine art and design history. Williams also established and curated the vintage game collection of the Gaming and Digital Innovation Lab at UW-Stout in addition to maintaining his own catalog of games, game hardware and input devices.