2nd Edition

The Video Games Textbook History • Business • Technology

By Brian J. Wardyga Copyright 2023
    504 Pages 706 Color & 10 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    504 Pages 706 Color & 10 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    504 Pages 706 Color & 10 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The Video Games Textbook takes the history of video games to the next level. Coverage includes every major video game console, handheld system, and game-changing personal computer, as well as a look at the business, technology, and people behind the games.

    Chapters feature objectives and key terms, illustrative timelines, color images, and graphs in addition to the technical specifications and key titles for each platform. Every chapter is a journey into a different segment of gaming, where readers emerge with a clear picture of how video games evolved, why the platforms succeeded or failed, and the impact they had on the industry and culture. Written to capture the attention and interest of students from around the world, this newly revised Second Edition also serves as a go-to handbook for any video game enthusiast.

    This edition features new content in every chapter, including color timelines, sections on color theory and lighting, the NEC PC-98 series, MSX series, Amstrad CPC, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Milton Bradley Microvision, Nintendo Game & Watch, gender issues, PEGI and CERO rating systems, and new Pro Files and quiz questions, plus expanded coverage on PC and mobile gaming, virtual reality, Valve Steam Deck, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5.

    Key Features

    • Explores the history, business, and technology of video games, including social, political, and economic motivations
    • Facilitates learning with clear objectives, key terms, illustrative timelines, color images, tables, and graphs
    • Highlights the technical specifications and key titles of all major game consoles, handhelds, personal computers, and mobile platforms
    • Reinforces material with market summaries and reviews of breakthroughs and trends, as well as end-of-chapter activities and quizzes

    List of Abbreviations. Acknowledgments. Author. Introduction. Chapter 1 The First Video Games. Chapter 2 Behind the Technology. Chapter 3 The Atari Generation. Chapter 4 Early PC Gaming. Chapter 5 The 8-Bit Era. Chapter 6 The 16-Bit Era. Chapter 7 Sex and Violence Take Center Stage. Chapter 8 The 3D Era. Chapter 9 Video Games Become Big Business. Chapter 10 The Sixth Generation. Chapter 11 The Rise of PC Gaming and VR. Chapter 12 The Seventh Generation. Chapter 13 Military, Science, and Education Get into the Game. Chapter 14 Mobile and Indie Change the Game. Chapter 15 Modern Console Gaming. INDEX.


    Dr. Brian J. Wardyga combined his 40+ years’ experience with video games with 20+ years in the media industry and 20+ years of teaching in higher education to create The Video Games Textbook. He began playing video games in the early 1980s, beginning with the Atari VCS. Since that time, he has collected games for almost every major system, and lived through most of what has been written in this book. An expert on the subject that is both his passion and hobby, Brian wrote and designed this textbook to promote student learning and to be the ultimate companion book for all video game enthusiasts. The book’s visually rich presentation encourages reading and provides vivid examples of each major platform, its controllers and accessories, along with examples of the print advertisements, game graphics, and box art that was pertinent to each generation of video games.

    Brian began teaching at the university level in 2002 at Boston University and has taught communication and production courses at Curry College, Fisher College, Lasell University, and University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has been a full-time instructor at Lasell University since 2004, where he began teaching courses on video games in 2009. His array of courses taught includes Advanced Television Production, Communication Research (graduate level), Digital Audio Production, Digital Filmmaking, Digital Video Editing, Effective Speaking, Fundamentals of Communication, Interactive Broadband Television, Life Skills & Video Games, Media Literacy, Oral Communication, Public Speaking, Radio Production, Television Studio Production, Understanding Mass Media, Understanding Video Games, Video Games & Culture, Video Production (graduate and undergraduate), and Writing for the Media.

    Brian holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University, a Master of Science in Television from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Bridgewater State. His professional vita includes work for organizations such as Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture, Borders Books & Music, The Boyds Collection Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline, and Ty, Inc. He has served more than 10 years as the advisor to LCTV – Lasell Community Television and the Lasell University Video Games Club (VGC). His 20+ years of experience in the media industry includes the role of founding General Manager of the award-winning 102.9FM WLAS. His clubs have won Student Organization of the Year on three occasions, and Brian has received accolades such as the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts Award of Excellence, Intercollegiate Broadcasting System winner for Best Television Station Advisor, and the Tom Gibson Award for Outstanding Engineering.

    In addition to WLAS, Brian worked for another 10 years in the Boston media market as a Stage Manager and Computer Graphics Technician at WCVB-TV ABC5 for programs such as Chronicle, City Line, Commitment 2000, The Evening News, Eye Opener News, Jerry Lewis Telethon, Midday News, Patriots Pregame Show, Patriots 5th Quarter, and the PGA Tour. Prior to WCVB, Brian worked as an Associate Director for WLVI-TV WB56 on programs such as Keller At Large, New England Stories, Patriots SportZone Kickoff, The Sports Zone, and The Ten O’Clock News. He also served as a Postproduction Assistant at WGBH PBS2 on the Building Big documentary series.