Video Game Books

I’m looking for books some of you can recommend that are about video games. Usually I read about other subjects but I’ve been curious to see if they are any good books out there related to video games.

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The boss fight books are pretty decent I think. I’ve got the chrono trigger one and enjoyed what I read. I’ve heard good things about the console wars book too.


I really enjoyed the book Console Wars by Blake Harris. It tells the story of Tom Kalinske, the CEO of Sega of America from 1990 to 1996. It is a dramatized retelling of how Kalinske helped turn Sega from an obscure little game company into a household name, and really gets into the business and marketing side of things in those “wild west” days of the video game industry. A lot of big, crazy events went down in those years. It’s mostly focused on Sega of course, but it includes some interesting stories for Nintendo as well (and Sony, toward the end of the book).

I listened to the audiobook for this one, which seems like a better fit since it has a kind of “radio show” feel to it (re-enacting conversations that have surely been embellished). It’s all surprisingly fun and exciting.


I’ll look into those boss fight books you mentioned. Thanks!

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This books sounds really appealing. I’ve actually seen it several times and never thought much of it. The audiobook also sounds like something I would consider. Thanks!

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I just bought the ebook for the Katamari Damacy book from Boss Fights. It’s great timing, since I just finished a playthrough of it and am very curious to learn some behind-the-scenes about it.

I’ll share my thoughts on the book later this week.

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I enjoyed Extra Lives: Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell

Though not strictly a video game but if you like Magic:The Gathering this is excellent:

A good fiction book I’m pretty sure most video game nerds have heard of is Ready Player One:
The audiobook with Wil Wheaton reading and voice acting is excellent


Hardcore Gaming 101 has some excellent books, usually on whole series or genres of games. Another great thing about their books, is their diligence in finding all sorts of facts and stories that you might not have known of before regarding these properties.

Books – Hardcore Gaming 101


I hear Blood, Sweat, and Pixels by Jason Schreier is a very worthwhile read.


Oh this looks like it might be good. I’ll add it to my reading backlog for sure. Thanks!

Never heard of these books, but they look promising. I’ll give one a try at one point. Thanks for the recommendation.

Ready Player one is a book I want to read since I enjoyed the film. Extra lives is not one I heard of but i’ll find out more about it. Thanks for these suggestions.

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I don’t think Masters of Doom has been mentioned yet.
It’s the story of Carmack, Romero and consequently of Doom, Quake and ID itself. I found it to be as gripping as a well written novel.

On the Goodreads page for the book i linked you can also find other suggestions for game books, some of which already mentioned here.

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Thank you! I’ll look at the link for sure.

Finished the Katamari Damacy book from Boss Fights – it was a quick read, basically felt like a few blog posts (which, perhaps it was). But it was well-put together, didn’t waste time on random tangents. Could’ve been more personal and insightful, but it was at least informative.

That said, it wasn’t the most interesting read? I guess I was expecting a bit more drama for a game as strange and unique as this one. But the story behind the making of this one (and its subsequent success) is remarkably straightforward. Keita Takahashi was certainly a very creative individual, but he sure was a lucky one too with everyone just going along with his crazy idea and everything falling uncannily into place. I guess some games were just meant to be, lol.

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I loved You Died, The Dark Souls compillation by Keza McDonald.

Is a series of reports about the game, its creators and the community formed around it. It made me appreciate Dark Souls in a new level.

I didn’t know Keza McDonald wrote a Dark Souls Book. I have to check that out.

This is the one.

(Oops! it’s ‘companion’, not ‘compilation’).


There’s a really great short story called Navigators by Mike Meginnis that I recommend tracking down. It is about a father and son playing through a fictional NES game that is kind of an anti-Metroidvania (you become weaker as you progress).

I second You Died. Never played Dark Souls, but it is good stuff. There is a boss fights book for one of the Mega Man games that is also really really good.

I remember enjoying a book called Gamelife, which is an autobiography told through his relationship with games.

And finally, technically not videogame related, but I need to mention Wolf In A White Van by John Darnielle. It is about a disfigured man who runs a mail-in RPG.

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Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature by Espen Aarseth is a great book about interactivity and non-linearity—it’s not exclusively about videogames (discusses works in hypertext and traditional media) but was a seminal text in the field of videogame studies. Perhaps a little dated now that it’s over twenty years old but might be of interest if you like academic works.