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Invasion of the Space Invaders


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Many years ago in my early teens I bought a book from my local bookshop. It was a proper book about videogames written by someone called Martin Amis, who I'd never heard of, and introduced by Steven Spielberg. It's part history, part reviews, part hints and tips and totally of it's time. The author wrote in a more grown up way than I was used to at the time and wrote with a passion and love for the games that enchanted the young me. He writes more about his favourite games with pages devoted to Defender while others get not much more than a paragraph. I loved this book and reread it many times.

 

Years later I read an article in Edge magazine about Retrogaming books and there it was described as the Holy Grail of Retro book collecting. I rushed off to look for my copy but it was nowhere to be found. I'd left home by this point and moved house twice, I didn't appear to have it. I assumed it would be at my parents but couldn't find it there despite searching my old room, attic etc. I hoped it might turn up but it didn't.

 

A couple of nights ago I was chuntering on to my partner and started rambling on about this old book that I'd lost and how it was probably now very valuable etc, etc, etc.....grumble, grumble.... She's very tolerant. I googled the book expecting to see it listed on eBay for stupid money, at which point I might have thrown myself to the ground for a quiet weep, and then it popped up. New copies were available for less than £12, they'd only gone and reprinted it in 2018 and this was after Martin Amis had previously said he would not allow a reprint of this book ever again. Why wasn't I informed?

 

Anyway, it arrived today and although it's a new printing and a brand new book it feels like I've got part of my childhood back. Now to settle down and read it.

Invasion.thumb.jpg.e6ed951d9fccac66912f79deac94b8bb.jpg

 

 

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I bought that in mint condition in a secondhand bookshop in 1987. It was next to a games shop and I'd just come out of there with "Buggy Boy" on cassette and "Bionic Commando" on disk for the C64.

 

I gave my copy away to C+VG Editor Paul Davies in 1997 and he gave me a second hand Jaguar 'toilet' CD add-on.

 

It's a cool book but I would not say it's the Holy Grail.

 

I would recommend the 'Art of Atari' book - I've been reading that recently and it's fabulous.

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It's not a great book really. I bought it from Bookcase a year or two ago for a few quid.

 

Art of Atari is lush.

 

I'm halfway through 8-Bit Apocalypse - The Untold Story of Missile Command. I haven't picked it up in a while. The story itself and the insight into golden age Atari is great, but the writing style really irks me. If there are three ways to say the same thing, the writer will use all three.

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8 minutes ago, knightbeat said:

The Space Invaders book is probably one of the first books to treat videogames as a culture rather than a fad.

 

In the spirit of sharing, I want to buy We Love Atari Vol 1 & 2 at some point. The author is well regarded in the Atari world and has put a lot of effort into research, though they're a bit expensive at £50 each.

 

 

 

God those look amazing.

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Defo going to grab a copy - I had no idea it'd been reprinted! (Thanks)

 

I have 'Art Of Atari' - got it for £14 including an official Atari Logo tee (bargain).

It's good - But a bit 2600/VCS heavy for me - Wish it was more Arcade focused.

 

A book I do want - But again bit pricey (even as an ebook) is:

'The Sega Arcade Revolution: A History in 62 Games'

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DWB5KXY/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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1 hour ago, HOW said:

 

 

I have 'Art Of Atari' - got it for £14 including an official Atari Logo tee (bargain).

It's good - But a bit 2600/VCS heavy for me - Wish it was more Arcade focused.

 

 

It was pointed out in a few other threads, but I'm not sure many people are aware of what actually "Atari" own  as the Art of Atari was an official collection. Atari's Arcade division was split off into a separate company called Atari Games in 1983, which means Atari only own the games before that - like Missile Command, Tempest etc. Atari Games was originally owned by Warner Media, eventually was bought by Midway in the 90s, which in turn was bought by Warner Interactive (which is now up for sale, a steal at $4bn!)

 

It is a bit of a shame, because I have a really soft spot for Atari Games output and it doesn't seem to get much coverage these days and ends up being lumped in with the other Midway or Williams (also owned by Warner) games of the era.

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