A review by theliteraryphoenix
A History of Video Games, by Jeremy Parish

informative fast-paced


There's a lot of angles to the history of video games. Going in, I wasn't sure which route Parish was going to take. A History of Video Games focuses mostly on the industry history, targeting the companies that led the evolution of gaming. This is probably the most pragmatic approach, but if you're looking for a more cultural history of video games including the social turmoil around them (from the belief that video games make children violent to Gamergate) you're not going to find it here.

Parish feels rushed in this production and it's easy to tell there's so much more he wants to say. He does a good job keeping to the overview of the topic and going into development history and much of the format evolution. One thing that went absolutely undiscussed in this lecture was VR gaming, which I found a little shocking since VR gaming has been around a while and this lecture was only published last year. You'll see the other major players here, but there aren't deep specifics about anything.

This is a very enjoyable overview and a good place to start for those interested in video game history, most particularly the development and growth of console systems. I enjoyed the discourse and particularly loved it every time Parish name-dropped a game I knew - Gauntlet FTW! My favorite arcade game. As with anything in the tech industry it's growing a little outdated already. For example, he spends about ten minutes at the end of the course talking about legal complications around the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World game that would probably never be re-released... only Nintendo re-released it this summer. Little things like that, which are already growing obsolete as technology and the world march forward. It's a good place to start, a very good place to start, but don't expect too much depth - it is, after all, only a 4.5hr. lecture.