Even though our main focus on this site is arcade repair, we would like to take a break for a moment and talk about some arcade related books. I know that many of you are collectors and are generally interested in learning more about arcade games. In this post, we will talk about some books that are not necessarily related to arcade repair but are related to arcade games in general.
Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine (John St. Clair, 2004): Project Arcade is a great book for people who are interested in building a PC-based arcade game from scratch. It goes step by step taking you from designing your cabinet to how to set up your PC. Highly recommended if you plan on building a M.A.M.E. arcade machine and don’t know where to start. Comes with a good resource CD as well.
Official Price Guide To Classic Video Games: Console, Arcade, And Handheld Games (David Ellis, 2004): This book is a a very handy reference for those of you who are just getting started in the hobby. While the pricing guide part of this book may be a little off, the content is very interesting. It has insightful articles about several classic console and arcade games. Great read and a good starting point for arcade collecting beginners.
Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan’s Game Centers (Brian Ashcraft & Jean Snow, 2009): Arcade Mania talks about the history of the Japanese arcade scene. This book contains lots of great interviews with game makers such as Yu Suzuki from Sega. It also covers a lot about how the Japanese arcade scene has influenced western gaming from Space Invaders all the way to Rock Band. A great book and an excellent read.
The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon–The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World (Steven L. Kent, 2001): This is the one of the most complete books on the overall history of video games available. You’re probably familiar with Kent if you have seen many video game documentaries or read many books on this subject. The Ultimate History of Video Games is definitely his best work. It’s crammed full of information with tons of interviews and quotes from the guys that were there. Very informative and highly recommended.
High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (Rusel DeMaria & Johnny L. Wilson, 2003): If you’re look for something a little more light than The Ultimate History of Video Games then this is for you. High Score covers very similar material to the aforementioned book but without the in depth detail. It’s a great book for those of you who have kids and want to share this history with them. I personally like the detailed pictures found throughout the book. An ideal book to get an overview of video game history.
Arcade Fever: The Fan’s Guide to The Golden Age of Video Games (John Sellers, 2001): While this book has gotten mixed reviews since it’s release, I think that it does a great job of rekindling your nostalgia for how the arcades used to be. It also does a great job of breaking down what was going on in history while we were originally playing these great games. A fun book for those who want to take a trip down memory lane to relive their old arcade memories.
Zap: The Rise and Fall of Atari (Scott Cohen, 1987): Even though I really didn’t play video games back when Atari was king, I’m still fascinated by the story of the company. Zap explains what went on at Atari from it’s meteoric rise to it’s ultimate fall. It also gives you great historical insight into the personalities that ran the company. Even though the book is kind of dated now, it’s still very interesting read.
Gaming Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools (Simon Carless, 2002): I guess I should be forthcoming as to why I have included this book on the list. It just happens to contain a tip on my freeware application MARRT (MAME Adult Rom Removal Tool). Besides that, however, Gaming Hacks covers a very diverse range of topics from arcade games all the way to modern consoles. Pretty much everyone will find a tip that they can use regardless of the type of gamer they are. A great collection of tips and very useful.
Well, those are some of our recommended books about arcade games. Are there any books that we left out? Please leave some comments below and let us know.