Video games may be an interactive genre filled with decisions and different paths but the linear stories that make them possible are often just as fascinating. Getting to see how things work, how specific games were made, and learning more about the constantly shifting and growing industry of interactive entertainment.
Here are some of the best books for anyone that loves video games, especially if you’d like to learn more about the people that make it happen.
Best Books for Anyone that Loves Video Games
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture | By David Kushner
Masters of Doom is the true story of id Software co-founders John Carmack and John Romero and how they changed everything with the release of Doom.
The story goes through the creation of Doom and the stories that helped pull and push Carmack, Romero, and the rest of the team together and apart.
It’s an essential read for anyone that loves Doom, first-person shooters, or just likes to see what all goes into making a video game. It’s also worth reading if you’re curious about this particular era of id Software or games in general.
Video games are still a chaotic industry but the 90s were an entirely different beast altogether. Don’t miss Masters of Doom.
It’s also available on Audible if you’d prefer to sit back and hear the wonderful Wil Wheaton tell you a tale of Doom.
Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's Legendary CEO | By Hobonichi (Editor), Sam Bett (Translator)
Ask Iwata combines the stories, wisdom, and inspirational moments from the career of Satoru Iwata, the late global president and CEO of Nintendo until his tragic passing.
Countless conversations and delightful details fill the pages of Ask Iwata, making it the perfect read for anyone wanting a closer look at the games and people from Nintendo.
Gears of War: Retrospective | By Arthur Gies, The Coalition, and Microsoft Studios
Arthur Gies and Microsoft Studios worked together to tell the story of the Gears of War series. The action-packed series brought blood and crunchy gore to the Xbox 360 in 2006 and the world couldn’t get enough.
The games feature an emotionally charged narrative with well-written characters but the main focus is on the struggle to stay alive. Arthur Gies was provided access to assets and information as he pieced together the story of how Gears of War became what it is and how it feels looking back on it.
Gears of War: Retrospective will mostly appeal to fans of the series but should also interest anyone with a soft spot for shooters and third-person action games from the HD generation (360/PS3).
The book is also filled front to back with gorgeous artwork and screenshots. It’s a must-read for anyone excited by the sound of the Lancer’s chainsaw bayonet. Just make sure to keep it away from the book.
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made | By Jason Schreier
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a must-read for anyone interested in or even curious about games. Inside its pages are the stories of several hit games and how they were made. There are even some details on games that didn’t quite make it to release.
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels will change how you see video games forever. I’ve been fascinated by games my entire life but I had no idea each release is an individual miracle until I read this book.
Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry | By Jason Schreier
Press Reset also pulls back the curtain on the industry, sharing a closer look at everyone involved, but the focus is much more on the people this time. Games and how they’re made come up too but Jason Schreier’s follow-up book shows how many lives are torn apart on the way to making a game.
It’s sad to see artists suffer so much for their art, especially when it’s largely unnecessary in a resource-sufficient world, but knowing their struggles is the first step to developing a better workplace and world.
Press Reset should appeal to anyone that’s interested in video games and technology. It should also interest anyone that needs convincing that this system and way of doing things is anything but sustainable.