9. The Ultimate History of Video Games

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The first day of PAX was over. I took the shuttle back to the Hilton with four friends. One of them had to turn in homework for a video game history class he was taking online.

Jake, the scholar, sat at a tiny desk, gazing at the computer screen. I noticed beside him a large history book with Pac-Man on the cover. It contained “the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world.” I picked it up and started flipping.

I wasn't alive during “The Golden Age of Video Games.” I didn't see the video game industry implode, nor did I see Nintendo single-handedly resurrect it. I didn't see Sega's rise to prominence, and I didn't know Space Invaders caused a coin shortage. But this book, like an elderly relative reminiscing over times long gone, dropped knowledge on me.

The best way to know where video games came from is to play old video games. The Ultimate History of Video Games is a road map to the ones that are most worth your time.