Synopses & Reviews
The movie business celebrates its creators: Spielberg, DeMille, Scorsese, Hitchcock. But what about the “ names” behind Doom, The Sims, Donkey Kong, Grand Theft Auto
—the games that spawned a ten-billion-dollar industry whose revenues surpassed the domestic movie box office take five years ago? Videogames are no longer a quirky, boom-or-bust subculture, but a bona fide mainstream industry revolutionizing the way we teach, the way we learn, the way we communicate.
Smartbomb goes into the epicenter of the videogame explosion, where computer technology is fused with artistic creativity. From the hackers at MIT in the 1960s to the Ferrari-driving developers of the modern-day industry to professional “cyberathletes,” we meet the celebrities of the gaming world. It’s a dizzying trip through the trade conventions, gaming competitions, and design labs of the men who are the Spielbergs of their field. Startling and revelatory, this is an up-close and personal look at the egos, the battles, the one-upmanship, and the love of the chase fueling these innovators who are creating the worlds in which we’re going to live and play for the next century.
“The entertaining and vivid Smartbomb brings video games to life in all their bewildering, provocative, and disturbing forms.” — The Boston Globe Boston Globe
“[Smartbomb] is a book that might have been only an enthralling read about a burgeoning industry, but Chaplin and Ruby have gone one step further and produced something of importance.” —USA Today USA Today
“A voyeuristic, enjoyable journey through the bizarre and fiscally fertile subculture of an industry exploding in popularity and relevance. . . . The writing is quick and informative, and the book is a smart read for those who want to learn from the people who keep gamers so entertained.” —Fast Company Fast Company
Smartbomb takes you into the epicenter of the gaming explosion, where bleeding-edge computer sciene and wild creativity have fused to produce a new medium that is changing not only how we play but also how we communicate and learn, all of it propelled by a mega-billion-dollar industry that is revolutionizing the way we live.
What started as a game of Pong
, with little blips dancing across a computer screen, has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry that is changing the future, making inroads into virtually all aspects of our culture.Who are the minds behind this revolution? How did it happen? Where is it headed?
In Smartbomb, journalists Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby take the reader behind the scenes at gaming conventions, into powerhouse think tanks where new games are created, into the thick of the competition at cyberathlete tournaments, and into the homes of gamers for whom playing a role in a virtual world has assumed more relevance and reality than life in the real world.
About the Author
Aaron Ruby has written extensively about the videogame industry and has reviewed videogames for Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City. This is his first book.Heather Chaplin is a journalist who has written for many major publications, including the New York Times, Fortune, and Salon. She lives in New York City. This is her first book.