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The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect

by

The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the forty years since the first Magnavox Odyssey pixel winked on in 1972, the home video game industry has undergone a mind-blowing evolution. Fueled by unprecedented advances in technology, boundless imaginations, and an insatiable addiction to fantastic new worlds of play, the video game has gone supernova, rocketing two generations of fans into an ever-expanding universe where art, culture, reality, and emotion collide.

As a testament to the cultural impact of the game industry’s mega morph, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with curator and author Chris Melissinos, conceived the forthcoming exhibition, The Art of Video Games, which will run from March 16 to September 30, 2012.* Welcome Books will release the companion book this March.

Melissinos presents video games as not just mere play, but richly textured emotional and social experiences that have crossed the boundary into culture and art.

Along with a team of game developers, designers, and journalists, Melissinos chose a pool of 240 games across five different eras to represent the diversity of the game world. Criteria included visual effects, creative use of technologies, and how world events and popular culture manifested in the games. The museum then invited the public to go online to help choose the games. More than 3.7 million votes (from 175 countries) later, the eighty winners featured in The Art of Video Games exhibition and book were selected.

From the Space Invaders of the seventies to sophisticated contemporary epics BioShock and Uncharted 2, Melissinos examines each of the winning games, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their development and innovation, and commentary on the relevance of each in the history of video games.

Over 100 composite images, created by Patrick O’Rourke, and drawn directly from the games themselves, illustrate the evolution of video games as an artistic medium, both technologically and creatively.

Additionally, The Art of Video Games includes fascinating interviews with influential artists and designers–from pioneers such as Nolan Bushnell to contemporary innovators including Warren Spector, Tim Schafer and Robin Hunicke.

The foreword was written by Elizabeth Broun, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Mike Mika, noted game preservationist and prolific developer, contributed the introduction the introduction.

*After Washington D.C., the exhibition travels to several cities across the United States, including Boca Raton (Museum of Art), Seattle (EMP Museum), Yonkers, NY (Hudson River Museum) and Flint, MI (Flint Institute of Arts). For the latest confirmed dates and venues, please visit the The Art of Video Games exhibition page at http://americanart.si.edu/taovg

Synopsis:

In the forty-year history of the video game industry, the medium has undergone staggering development, fueled not only by advances in technology but also by an insatiable quest for richer play and more meaningful experiences. From the very beginning, with the introduction of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, countless individuals became enthralled by a new world opened before them, one in which they could control and create, as well as interact and play. Even in their rudimentary form, video games held forth a potential and promise that inspired a generation of developers, programmers, and gamers to pursue visions of ever more sophisticated interactive worlds.

As a testament to the game industry's stunning evolution, and to its cultural impact worldwide, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and curator Chris Melissinos conceived the 2012 exhibition The Art of Video Games. Along with a team of game developers, designers, and journalists, Melissinos selected an initial group of 240 games in four different genres to represent the best of the game world. Selection criteria included visual effects, creative use of technologies, and how world events and popular culture influenced the games. The museum created a website and invited the public to help choose the most popular games; after almost four million votes coming from 175 countries, eighty winners were selected and are featured in the exhibition and in this book.

The Art of Video Games offers a revealing look into the history of the game industry, from the early days of Pac-Man and Space Invaders to the vastly more complicated contemporary epics such as BioShock and Uncharted. Melissinos examines each of the eighty winning entries, with stories and comments on their development, innovation, and relevance to the game world's overall growth. Visual images, composed by Patrick O'Rourke, are all drawn directly from the games themselves, and speak to the evolution of games as an artistic medium, both technologically and creatively. Also included are interviews with some of the industry's most influential artists and designers, from pioneers such as Nolan Bushnell to contemporary innovators including Warren Spector and Tim Schafer.

From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, The Art of Video Games makes a compelling case for games to be viewed not just as mere play, but as richly textured, compelling experiences that have crossed the boundary into culture and art. As Melissinos writes, "Our children are being born into a world in which the digital and physical collide, and video games are the expressive voice of that collision." The Art of Video Games presents the evolution of that voice, as it becomes ever more powerful.

Synopsis:

This is the story of how video games capture our imaginations and influence our world.

 

While video games are still a relatively young medium, the industry has seen staggering progress in its forty-year history, both technologically and as an artistic form. The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect explores this rapid development, as well as the evolution from the early days of 8-bit to the complex visual epics that now form the core of an industry rivaling Hollywood in revenue and cultural impact.      

 

Author Chris Melissinos delves into five eras and eighty of the most popular games ever produced to offer a revealing look into the game industry, the many influences on designers, and the persistent impact games have had on the broader culture. Included are interviews with the industry’s most influential artists and designers, from early pioneers such as Nolan Bushnell to contemporary developers including Kellee Santiago and Tim Schafer.

 

The result is a lively record of technological and artistic innovation, abundantly illustrated and impressive in scope.

 

The Art of Video Games includes:

· Still images and art from eighty games, from classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders to contemporary blockbusters like BioShock and Uncharted.

· Stories behind the development of the most innovative and influential games.

· Interviews with artists, designers, and pioneers in the game industry, including Warren Spector, Cliff Bleszinski, Tommy Tallerico, Ron Gilbert, Don Daglow, Ed Fries, and many more!

About the Author

Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels (www.pastpixels.com), is the curator for the exhibition The Art of Video Games, a nationally touring exhibition organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Melissinos has been engaged in the ongoing dialogue about video game technology, social trends, and the application of technology for more than a decade. He is a frequent speaker at game and technology conferences, including the Game Developers Conference, E3, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Penny Arcade Expo, JavaOne, Smithsonian Web 2.0, and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Summit, as well as lecturing at universities across the globe.

Elizabeth Broun is the Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  After receiving her master’s in medieval art history at the University of Kansas, Broun earned a doctorate in American art history for her work on art exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.  Broun has done extensive curatorial work on Albert Pinkham Ryder, Thomas Hart Benton, Stuart Davis, Childe Hassam, Patrick Ireland, Pat Steir and James McNeill Whistler.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

GENRES

 

START!

ATARI VCS

Combat

Space Invaders

Pitfall!

Pac-Man

COLECO VISION

Donkey Kong

Zaxxon

Star Trek: Strategic

Operations Simulator

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

INTELLIVISION

Star Strike

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

TRON: Maze-a-Tron

Utopia

 

8-BIT

COMMODORE 64

Jumpman

Attack of the Mutant Camels

Sid Meier’s Pirates

The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate

NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

The Legend of Zelda

1943: The Battle of Midway

Desert Commander

Super Mario Brothers 3

SEGA MASTER SYSTEM

Marble Madness

Phantasy Star

After Burner

Spy vs. Spy

 

BIT WARS!

SEGA GENESIS

Dune II

Phantasy Star IV

Gunstar Heroes

Earthworm Jim

SUPER NES

Super Mario World

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Star Fox

SimCity

 

TRANSITION

DOS/WINDOWS

DOOM II

Fallout

StarCraft

Diablo II

NINTENDO 64

Super Mario 64

GoldenEye 007

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time

Worms Armageddon

SEGA DREAMCAST

Sonic Adventure

Shenmue

ChuChu Rocket!

Rez

SEGA SATURN

SimCity 2000

Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei

Panzer Dragoon Saga

Tomb Raider

SONY PLAYSTATION

FINAL FANTASY VII

Metal Gear Solid

EINHÄNDER

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS

 

NEXT GENERATION

MICROSOFT XBOX

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

Fable

Panzer Dragoon Orta

Halo 2

MICROSOFT XBOX 360

Mass Effect 2

Lord of the RIngs: The Battle for Middle-Earth II

BioShock

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

MODERN WINDOWS

Flow

Portal

Fallout 3

Minecraft

NINTENDO GAMECUBE

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Pikmin 2

Star Fox: Assault

NINTENDO Wii

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Boom Blox

SONY PLAYSTATION 2

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Gradius V

Shadow of the Colossus

Okami

SONY PLAYSTATION 3

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Heavy Rain

Brütal Legend

Flower

 

INTERVIEWS

Nolan Bushnell

Steve Cartwright

Don Daglow

Ron Gilbert

Kevin Bachus

Tommy Tallarico

Warren Spector

R. J. Mical

Jane Pinckard

Jon-Paul Dyson

Jen MacLean

Chris Charla

Jesse Schell

Robin Hunicke

Tim Schafer

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

CREDITS

Product Details

ISBN:
9781599621104
Author:
Melissinos, Chris
Publisher:
Welcome Books
Author:
Broun, Elizabeth
Author:
Mika, Mike
Subject:
Video & Electronic
Subject:
Art-Museums and Collections
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
10.33 x 10.4 x 0.89 in 3.2906 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Museums and Collections
Computers and Internet » Graphics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Video Games
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The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect New Hardcover
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Product details 216 pages Welcome Books - English 9781599621104 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In the forty-year history of the video game industry, the medium has undergone staggering development, fueled not only by advances in technology but also by an insatiable quest for richer play and more meaningful experiences. From the very beginning, with the introduction of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, countless individuals became enthralled by a new world opened before them, one in which they could control and create, as well as interact and play. Even in their rudimentary form, video games held forth a potential and promise that inspired a generation of developers, programmers, and gamers to pursue visions of ever more sophisticated interactive worlds.

As a testament to the game industry's stunning evolution, and to its cultural impact worldwide, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and curator Chris Melissinos conceived the 2012 exhibition The Art of Video Games. Along with a team of game developers, designers, and journalists, Melissinos selected an initial group of 240 games in four different genres to represent the best of the game world. Selection criteria included visual effects, creative use of technologies, and how world events and popular culture influenced the games. The museum created a website and invited the public to help choose the most popular games; after almost four million votes coming from 175 countries, eighty winners were selected and are featured in the exhibition and in this book.

The Art of Video Games offers a revealing look into the history of the game industry, from the early days of Pac-Man and Space Invaders to the vastly more complicated contemporary epics such as BioShock and Uncharted. Melissinos examines each of the eighty winning entries, with stories and comments on their development, innovation, and relevance to the game world's overall growth. Visual images, composed by Patrick O'Rourke, are all drawn directly from the games themselves, and speak to the evolution of games as an artistic medium, both technologically and creatively. Also included are interviews with some of the industry's most influential artists and designers, from pioneers such as Nolan Bushnell to contemporary innovators including Warren Spector and Tim Schafer.

From Pac-Man to Mass Effect, The Art of Video Games makes a compelling case for games to be viewed not just as mere play, but as richly textured, compelling experiences that have crossed the boundary into culture and art. As Melissinos writes, "Our children are being born into a world in which the digital and physical collide, and video games are the expressive voice of that collision." The Art of Video Games presents the evolution of that voice, as it becomes ever more powerful.

"Synopsis" by , This is the story of how video games capture our imaginations and influence our world.

 

While video games are still a relatively young medium, the industry has seen staggering progress in its forty-year history, both technologically and as an artistic form. The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect explores this rapid development, as well as the evolution from the early days of 8-bit to the complex visual epics that now form the core of an industry rivaling Hollywood in revenue and cultural impact.      

 

Author Chris Melissinos delves into five eras and eighty of the most popular games ever produced to offer a revealing look into the game industry, the many influences on designers, and the persistent impact games have had on the broader culture. Included are interviews with the industry’s most influential artists and designers, from early pioneers such as Nolan Bushnell to contemporary developers including Kellee Santiago and Tim Schafer.

 

The result is a lively record of technological and artistic innovation, abundantly illustrated and impressive in scope.

 

The Art of Video Games includes:

· Still images and art from eighty games, from classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders to contemporary blockbusters like BioShock and Uncharted.

· Stories behind the development of the most innovative and influential games.

· Interviews with artists, designers, and pioneers in the game industry, including Warren Spector, Cliff Bleszinski, Tommy Tallerico, Ron Gilbert, Don Daglow, Ed Fries, and many more!

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