So here it is, my very own blog on video game history. This blog will be slightly different from other blogs that have tackled this subject in the past, as I am using it as a research companion for a three-volume history of the industry I have been researching since 2006. I first became interested in writing about video game history when I realized how many omissions and inaccuracies had crept into most of the books and articles written on the subject by the middle of the last decade, and this blog will serve primarily as a source critique pulling from every book, article, and recollection I can bring to bear on a particular topic. While the state of video game history scholarship has improved mightily since about 2009, there are still a lot of facts to be uncovered and stories to be debunked.
This blog will unfold a comprehensive history of the video game industry on all formats (coin, console, computer, handheld, mobile, etc.) across all major markets (US, Japan, Europe, East Asia, etc.) from the earliest beginnings of electronic games in the 1950s until the present day. In addition, I will post what I call “historical interludes” from time to time tackling important developments in other fields that relate to video games such as the history of the coin-op industry between the 1880s and the 1970s, advancements in computer hardware, and the birth of the World Wide Web. Each post will cover a particular topic in video game history, but will not unfold strictly in narrative form. Instead, I will present a historiography tracing the original sources for particular facts, any disagreements between the sources, and commentary on what I feel was the most likely sequence of events. For many topics, this will be a straight forward task of stitching together primary sources to tell a narrative; for other topics, however, this will involve sifting through contradictory accounts and information. I do not have a particular posting schedule in mind, so we shall see how this goes.
One final caveat to bear in mind: my research into the history of video games is ongoing, so there are still gaps in my knowledge. Each post will present as comprehensive a treatment of the subject as I can craft with the sources available to me, but there are bound to be gaps. There are also sure to be errors borne of incomplete data as well. I will endeavor only to report what the sources say, but that is no guarantee of correctness. I will, of course, correct any errors that come to my attention.
Well, I think that does a pretty good job of covering all the bases. I really have no idea whether my ramblings will be of interest to anyone else, but at the very least this will serve as a place to organize my own thoughts and research as I continue wrestling with my manuscript. Comments and feedback are welcome. I hope you enjoy this journey through recent history.