Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the folks at the Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different theme where participants try to come up with ten things to fit the theme.
This week’s topic is Ten Books Every x Should Read. I chose gamers to replace that x, because that’s a huge part of who I am.
Let’s start with some nonfiction works. Most of these deal with the video game history and is definitely something gamers should read.
1. The Gamer’s Bucket List: The 50 Video Games to Play Before You Die
The Gamer’s Bucket List, as the title suggests, is book about 50 games that you should play before you die. Simple right?
2. Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
Console Wars, as the title suggests, talks about the console war. No, not the Xbox vs PlayStation war, it’s the war that predates them. The war between Sega and Nintendo. Spoiler alert: Nintendo won, I think. Seeing the state of Nintendo these days though… Anyway, apparently a film is going to made based on the book, and will be directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
3. Game Over: Press Start to Continue
The book tells the history of Nintendo, about its rise from a hanafuda card game maker to a multimillion dollar video game company and about how it penetrated the US market.
4. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
Masters of Doom talks about the makers of Doom, id tech and about the two Johns – Carmack and Romero, whose relationship is perhaps not unlike the two Steves of Apple Inc. The entrepreneur and the genius. It talks about how their friendship help created one of the most iconic games in the world and how it eventually killed their friendship.
5. Chris Crawford on Game Design
I found this gem on my campus library, and it’s about game designs. It gives a lot of insights on how games are made. Most of it is basic stuff, but it’ll give you an idea on how the industry works. Must read for aspiring game developers and gamers who want to know more about the process of making a game.
Alright now we’ve reach the fiction part of the list. Hopefully you’re still with me. Some of the following are books about playing video games and some of them are books set in video game universes.
6. Ready Player One
Ready Player One is a novel a story about a boy competing in an Easter Egg hunt in the virtual world of OASIS. He’s faced with challengers who will do everything to be the winner. A must read for video game nerds, especially if you’re well versed in the 1980s era. Ever heard of PacMan? Zork? Dungeons of Daggorath? Yes? Then you’ll fit right in. Even if you don’t it’s still a good read. Soon to be a movie directed by Steven Spielberg.
7. In Real Life
This one is not so much a book as a graphic novel. It tells the story of Anda, who plays an MMORPG called Coarsegold Online. Life is peachy until she meets Raymond, a Chinese gold farmer and realized that the world is not as great as it seems. Like MMORPGs? Then you’ll probably like this.
8. The Last Wish
The Last Wish is the first book in the Witcher Universe. It is a collection of short stories about the witcher Geralt and his exploits in the Northern Realms. Not really for gamers per say, but Witcher players should at least give this one a read. It will give insight to the relationship of some of the characters in the game.
9. Dragon Age: Asunder
Dragon Age: Asunder is one of my favorite novels set in the Dragon Age world. And I think it’s one of the few good books that spun off from a video game. It’s about how the Templars and Seekers splinter and about the fall of the Chantry, leading to the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Masked Empire is also said to be a good novel, though I haven’t read that one yet.
10. Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King tells the story of one of my favorite characters in video game. Arthas Menethil, the crown prince of Lordaeron sets off in a quest to save his people, but ultimately becomes the scourge of his people as his well-meaning sacrifices have consequences beyond his expectations. In many ways, I think the fall of Arthas is a way more compelling story than the fall of Anakin Skywalker. The author also wrote the Lord of the Clans, which talks about the story of the orc Thrall. It’s equally as good but ultimately I like Arthas as a character more than I liked Thrall.