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.
Table of Contents
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.
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