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The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond

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In the United States alone, the video game industry raked in an astonishing $12.5 billion last year, and shows no signs of slowing. Once dismissed as a fleeting fad of the young and frivolous, this booming industry has not only proven its staying power, but promises to continue driving the future of new media and emerging technologies. Today video games have become a limitless and multifaceted medium through which Fortune 50 corporations and Hollywood visionaries alike are reaching broader global audiences and influencing cultural trends at a rate unmatched by any other media. The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond traces the growth of a global phenomenon that has become an integral part of popular culture today. All aspects of video games and gaming culture are covered inside this engaging reference, including the leading video game innovators, the technological advances that made the games of the late 1970s and those of today possible, the corporations that won and lost billions of dollars pursing this lucrative market, arcade culture, as well as the demise of free-standing video consoles and the rise of home-based and handheld gaming devices. Narrative chapters explore the ongoing debates surrounding whether video games lead to violence in children and teens-as was the case with the Columbine High School shootings-in addition to other hot-button topics, such as the evolution of adventure games and first-person shooters. Inside readers will discover:l dblHow video games as a novelty grew into a worldwide multi-billion dollar industryl dblHow ethical worldviews can be embodied in video gamesl dblHow to get a job in the video game industryl dbl The story behind the battle between Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo's Wii, and Microsoft's Xbox 360l dbl The pioneers who developed such video games as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Myst, and more

About the Author

MARK J. P. WOLF is Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He has a Ph.D. from the School of Cinema/Television at the University of Southern California, and his books include The Medium of the Video Game (2001), Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics, and New Media (2003), The Video Game Theory Reader (2003), and The World of the D'ni: Myst and Riven (2006).
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