All Your Base Are Belong To Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture Book Review

Funny how you can find a whole bunch of video game related books on the bottom shelf in the “Culture” section of a huge book store. Harold Goldberg’s All Your Base Are Belong To Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture has been something that I’ve been looking for quite some time, and I found it several weeks ago languishing in one of the bottom shelves of Kinokuniya.

The title of the book is a line taken from a Japanese Sega Mega Drive game, Zero Wing, known for the use of broken English in the European translation of the game, which became an Internet meme of sorts. This sets the tone for the book as each chapter in the book takes readers through some of video games greatest moments and achievements, most of which have far reaching effects on popular culture.

I really like the parts about Trip Hawkins and the rise of Electronic Arts, on how BioShock came about, and the two chapters dedicated to Rockstar and its magnum opus, the Grand Theft Auto series. Other highlights include the making of some of the most influential MMORPGs of all time.

The rest of the book is no less an enjoyable read as it is brimming with of video gaming anecdotes, like the  one on Nintendo’s Miyamoto which kinda implied that the guy is a company mascot of sorts, which in turn confirms what I think about that chap (I don’t like him).

All Your Base Are Belong To Us deserves to be on the bookshelves of anyone that considers him/herself a  fan of video gamers. It’s prose is friendly and engaging enough for non-gaming folk to enjoy as well. Nine Over Ten 9/10 rates All Your Base Belongs To Us at 4.5 out of 5. The book is available on Amazon, check it out over here.

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