They Create Worlds: The Story of the People and Companies That Shaped the Video Game Industry, Vol. I: 1971-1982, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

They Create Worlds

The Story of the People and Companies That Shaped the Video Game Industry, Vol. I: 1971-1982, 1st Edition

By Alexander Smith

CRC Press

624 pages

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Paperback: 9781138389908
pub: 2019-12-02
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In They Create Worlds , Alexander Smith comprehensively examine the individuals, companies, and market forces that have shaped the development of the video game industry around the world from its inception in 1971 to the end of the PS2 era as accurately as currently available sources allow. These books are intended to be foundational works for the study and understanding of interactive entertainment and will focus on all the major product areas generally defined as being a part of the "video game industry," including coin-operated amusements, home consoles, games created for personal computers, handheld video game consoles, and games created for cell phones, smart phones, and tablets.

Key Features

  • The most in-depth examination of the video game industry ever written, They Create Worlds examines the technological breakthroughs, design decisions, and market forces in the United States, Europe, and East Asia that birthed a $100 billion industry.
  • The books derive their information from rare primary sources such as little-studied trade publications, personal papers collections, and oral history interviews with designers and executives who have never told their stories before.
  • Spread over three volumes, They Create Worlds examines the design innovations, sales and marketing techniques, and economic forces that have shaped video games from their earliest days as a novelty attraction to their current status as the most important entertainment medium of the 21st Century.
  • The books will examine the formation of the video game industry in a clear narrative style that will make them useful as teaching aids in classes on the history of game design and economics, but they are not being written specifically as instructional books
  • Table of Contents

    Searching for Bobby Fisher. The Priesthood at Play. One, Two, Three, Four I Declare a Space War. The Stars Are Right. Pinball Wizards. Rising Sun. A Nutty Idea. 1TL200: A Magnavox Odyssey. Ping-Pong Diplomacy. The Day of the Jackal. These Violent Delights. Homeward Bound. Solid State of Mind. Breaking Out in Japan. A Game Console Named Stella. Handhelds and 1977-78 Consumer Market. First Microcomputers. Training, Educational, and Early Recreeational Games. War Games and RPGs. Early Microcomputer Games. Space Invaders and Beyond in Japan. Vector Graphics. Larger Worlds. Characters. Console Ascendant. Third Parties. Computer Action. Computer Adventure and RPG. Peak Success in the Arcade. Home Market Glut. Epilogue: December 7, 1982.

    About the Author

    Alexander Smith is a reference librarian with a background in history and research who has been delving into the history of the video game industry for over ten years. I have played a crucial role in the preservation of certain documents and artifacts in early video game history and have conducted nearly 100 oral history interviews with key executives in the evolution of the industry. Currently, I co-host a bi-monthly podcast delving into the history of the industry and serve as a researcher and consultant for the Video Game Pioneers Archive oral history project of the Smithsonian Institution.

    Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    COMPUTERS / General
    COMPUTERS / Programming / Games