View Full Version : Games R Us

12-29-2005, 03:38 PM
The first videogame was a rudimentary version of Pong created in 1958 by a government physicist hoping to enliven a boring class trip for kids. Now the videogame industry is so big ($10 to $25 billion in sales this year, depending on whose numbers you believe) and so sophisticated (the U.S. military trains its soldiers on the latest videogames) that it is taking over our culture.
That's the contention of the new book “Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution” (Algonquin), written by self-professed "gamer" Aaron Ruby and Heather Chaplin, who claims she used to scold other kids when they "wasted" their quarters on Space Invaders. The husband-and-wife freelance journalists spent five years researching the book, interviewing programmers, visiting game labs and immersing themselves in online role-playing scenarios. The world depicted in their book is populated by the geeky creators of today's hottest games, pasty "cyberathletes" who spend hours playing Anarchy Online with "friends" they've never met and software companies that want to take over your living room just as they did your office.