Hey, guys! So, while we’re couped up waiting for this weirdness to pass, I’m sure most of us are playing video games and watching films. But I think we can also do some reading… with our ears. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, have been for decades (since they came on cassettes). There are tons of great audiobooks about videogames, and I’m sharing my top 5 with you so that you can listen to your heart’s content.
Best part? We’ve teamed up with Audible, so if you sign up using the links in this article, you’ll get 1 book of your choosing for free, and we’ll get a tiny commission (that won’t cost you anything) so that we can buy some toilet paper (or a Maserati, whichever is cheapest).
I’ve always been quite upfront about the fact that I’m a SEGA kid. Hell, I was just done playing Puyo Puyo Tetris with my wife and her sister (who are obscenely good at it). That’s because I grew up with a Mega Drive, when most of my friends had a SNES. SERVICE GAMES tells the story of SEGA (originally called Service Games), which started as an American company that made games for military personnel. It’s a fantastic story, and this book is amazing. Also, it’s a damn good deal, as you get over 17 hours of beautiful narration, all for you to know everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the company that did what Nintendidn’t. LISTEN FOR FREE: https://amzn.to/2XhQXjh
We take video games for granted nowadays, but it didn’t use to be this way. There was a time, believe it or not, when video games were not popular. And then, along came ATARI. The history of ATARI as a whole is a topic unto itself, with crazy highs and insane lows, eventually bringing the whole industry down with it. But this book chooses a more narrow focus, and is all the better for it. This is the story behind MISSILE COMMAND, and how it became a huge arcade hit, kickstarting the video game revolution in the 70s. For nerds like me, this book goes deep into the programmers who made it possible, and the insane culture behind ATARI itself. At a more modest 7 hours, this book is for those with a shorter attention span. LISTEN FOR FREE: https://amzn.to/2xeTCzs
REPLAY: THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES
I mean, what an easy, short topic to cover, eh? Haha, actually, Tristan Donovan and Richard Garriott manage a mammoth 15 hours and 15 minutes with this thing, going absolutely granular with the story of this medium we love so much. This is also narrated by Gary Furlong, whose work I like quite a bit. Another great investment-type thing, and it has a 4.5-star rating, with 573 people chiming in. Not bad! LISTEN FOR FREE: https://amzn.to/2RhL6qw
BLOOD, SWEAT & PIXELS
This is a more focused effort, again, looking at the development cycle of specific games. It includes a very intimate look at the development of STARDEW VALLEY, a game that has taken the industry by storm, taking up the mantle left behind by games like BRAID and FEZ. However, STARDEW VALLEY is now multiplayer, so Eric Barone’s efforts are ongoing, even to this day. We also take a look at blockbuster franchises like Dragon Age and even Destiny. This is one for the books (ha), and well worth the listen. It’s 7 hours long, so kind of a perfect middle-ground. LISTEN FOR FREE: https://amzn.to/2VeaIFR
HEY! LISTEN! A JOURNEY THROUGH THE GOLDEN ERA OF VIDEO GAMES
Quite different from other entries, this is a much more humorous approach by the creator of Dara O’Briain’s Go 8-Bit (which funnily enough, wasn’t actually made by Dara O’Briain, but by the author of this book, Steve McNeil). A much more personal tale of quite a funny guy growing up with SPACE INVADERS, DONKEY KONG, LEMMINGS and more. Also, this is a more UK-biased book, which I think it’ll be nice for you guys living there, as it’ll make it all that much more relatable. At 8 hours long, it’s meaty but not abusive. LISTEN FOR FREE: https://amzn.to/3bXu0Gb
CONSOLE WARS: Sadly, this isn’t available as widely as other releases due to licensing issues (boohoo). But it’s actually one of my favorite books (audio or paper) on the topic of video games. No affiliate links for this one, but if you can find it in your area, this is a must-have for fans.